Thursday, February 05, 2009

Defense Tech: Russia's Bears Spread Their Wings Over the Arctic Ocean

Russian Tupolev Tu-95 Bear Bomber

Martin Sieff writes for UPI:

Russia is continuing its new series of strategic nuclear bomber long-range missions over the Arctic Ocean.

Two Tupolev Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers crossed the Arctic Ocean and flew as far as Alaska, a Russian air force spokesman announced Jan. 28.

"Two Tu-95MS strategic bombers took off from an airbase in eastern Russia on Tuesday and successfully carried out a patrol mission over the neutral waters of the Arctic Ocean and near Alaska," Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik informed RIA Novosti.

Drik said the flight lasted 10 hours, indicating it covered a distance of 4,500 to 5,000 miles, given the usual cruising speed of a turboprop-engine-powered Tu-95MS. The crews of the two planes carried out instrumental flight exercises in arctic climate conditions, RIA Novosti said.

The flight was also notable for the kind of cat-and-mouse encounters with the U.S. Air Force reminiscent of the Cold War.

More here.


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