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Russia's strategic aviation kicks off massive aerial drills

World Defense & Security News - Russia
Russia's strategic aviation kicks off massive aerial drills
A headquarters exercise has begun on a major base of Russia’s strategic aviation in the city of Engels, Saratov region in the Middle Volga area, Colonel Igor Klimov, the chief public relations officer of the Russian Air Force told reporters on Wednesday, April 1st. The exercise involves more than twenty aircraft, including Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers.

Russian Tu-160 "Blackjack" and Tu-95MS "Bear" strategic bombers
Engaged in the exercise are the strategic missile carrying cruisers Tupolev-160 (Blackjack) and Tupolev-95MS (Bear), long-distance missile-carrying strike bombers Tupolev-22M3 (Backfire), the early warning and control aircraft A-50 (Mainstay), the Sukhoi-27 and MiG-31 fighter jets, as well as Antonov-12 airlifters and Mi-8 helicopters.

The program includes simulation of redeployment of the Tupolev-160, Tupolev-95MS and Tupolev-22M3, aerial reconnaissance, penetration through air defence barriers, coordination with friendly fighter jets for scouting operations, and refueling in midair.

In addition to this, the pilots will do practical and tactical launches of missiles at designated targets placed on the Pemboi and Kura testing ranges that are located in the Komi region in the north of European Russian and in Kamchatka respectively.

The Antonov-12 (Cub) airlifters and Mi-8 (Hip) helicopters are engaged in the exercise to ensure search and rescue operations.

All in all, more than fifty sorties will be made. The chief of Russia’s strategic aviation, Lieutenant General Anatoly Zhikharev is supervising the exercise.