A horrific video of a Russian Tu-22M3 crash in Murmansk Region emerged online, showing the strategic bomber’s approach in near-zero visibility and the moment it slammed into the airstrip and snapped in half, bursting into flames.
Video of the tragedy, apparently recorded by one of the servicemen at an air base near the city of Olenegorsk and leaked online, shows heavy fog covering the area during the January 22 incident.
During the crash-landing, the bomber literally broke apart, with its cabin engulfed in flames while tumbling on the ground.
Three of the four-pilot crew died on the spot, while the commander miraculously survived. He was urgently hospitalized with serious injuries. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the crash.
The fatal flight in blizzard conditions was a routine training mission, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, which initially said that the bomber carried no weapons during the incident. However, later reports indicate the jet was armed with one Kh-22 long-range anti-ship missile and several hundred aircraft cannon ammo.
The Tupolev-22M3 is the modern version of the supersonic long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber that first entered service in the 1970s. The latest, the M3M, unveiled last August, boasts upgraded avionics, new digital radio-navigation equipment, and a new communications system – and is set to become another carrier of the cutting-edge hypersonic Kinzhal missiles. The plane involved in the fatal accident was produced 33 years ago, but underwent a major overhaul in 2012 and was reportedly due for further modernization.Also on rt.com Supersonic strike bomber Tu-22M3 crash-lands in Russia’s northwest
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