“Two strategic bombers TU-95MS of the Russian Air Force performed a successful 20-hour patrol flight over the Arctic region,” said Colonel Alexey Drobyshevsky, Assistant to the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force.
“The flight was performed with in-flight refueling near Tiksi. Near Alaska during the air patrol long-haul planes were accompanied by NATO fighters,” Drobyshevsky said.
According to the official, all the flights of the Russian Air Force are carried out in accordance with rules of using air space over neutral waters. “The borders of other states were not violated,” Drobyshevsky said.
He stated that pilots of strategic bombers perform regular flights from air bases to patrol the neutral waters of the Arctic, the Atlantic, the Black Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Flight crews became more accomplished during their flights in northern latitudes, over areas without reference points and so on. During such flights they practice different techniques, such as the crew flight skills and in-flight refueling, Interfax said.
It is considered to be consummate when two 200-ton machines join together through the flexible fuelling system with cone-hose fittings 20 meters away from one another at a speed of 600 kilometers per hour, especially if accompanied by NATO fighters. Refueling enables the strategic missile carriers TU-160 and TU-95 MS to carry out their tasks within a day or more.
On August 17 2007 Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s strategic bombers to resume their patrol flights. Since 1992 Russia single-handedly ceased the flights of its strategic aircraft to far-away hot spots. “Unfortunately, not all countries followed our example,” Putin said. According to him, it set off certain problems for Russia’s security and that’s why he decided to restart the flights of Russia’s strategic aircraft on a regular basis.
Translated by Julia Bulygina