Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov has arrived in Vladivostok today to attend an exercise of the Pacific fleet. This largest naval wargame held by Russia in recent years began on Tuesday. The minister arrived in the Far Eastern region on one of the two strategic bombers Tu-160 which will participate in the exercise.
During the flight, the minister acted as a co-pilot and took part in the performance of training missions - mid-air refuelling at night, practice launch of cruise missiles, flight at a supersonic speed.
Upon arrival in the Far East, the minister gave a high assessment of Russia's missile aviation and made a point that it had never before operated in the region.
Sergei Ivanov said he has seen with his own eyes that "these planes are good not only for their strategic armaments". The Tu-160 bombers can remain in service for another decade, be updated and carry new weapons, he believes.
The aircraft to command and control troops in the event of a nuclear war is being built on the basis of the new wide-body Ilyushin Il-96-400M