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UP CLOSE: Russian Blackjack strategic bomber refueling at 600km/h (PHOTO, VIDEO)

New footage published by Russia’s Defense Ministry has provided a rather spectacular view from the cabin of the iconic Tu-160 strategic bomber while refueling in the air during its patrol mission.

The video shows the massive aircraft, which has a wingspan of 56 meters, connecting to a hose, released by the Il-78 aerial refueling tanker.

The operation goes seamlessly, being performed at a height of 5,000km and a speed of 600km/h.

RT

The clip includes a number of stunning shots made from both planes, but the most notable of them are, of course, those that show the refueling in first person view.

RT

The Tupolev Tu-160, which NATO calls ‘Blackjack’, was introduced in 1987 and by now remains one of the most feared combat aircraft in the world, with the maximum takeoff weight of around 275 tons.

The nuclear-capable bomber is equipped with variable-sweep wings, which it wedges against the fuselage when switching to supersonic speed. It can cover a distance of more than 12,000 kilometers without refueling.

Also on rt.com Russia’s modernized Tu-160M nuclear-capable bomber takes to the skies for the 1st time (VIDEO)

Russia is now working to upgrade all of its Tu-160 planes, installing new engines and other state-of-the-art equipment on them. There are also plans to build several new bombers from scratch.

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