Nuclear-capable Russian bombers fly over Sea of Japan (VIDEO)
Two Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers have performed a seven-hour-long flight over the neutral waters of the Sea of Japan, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. The scheduled flight was “in strict accordance with the international rules of airspace management,” the commander of long-range Russian aviation, Lieutenant General Sergey Kobylash, said, commenting on the development.
The bombers were escorted by several Su-35 and Su-30 supermaneuverable air superiority fighter jets, the officials said, without revealing the exact number of the fighters. The military also published a video of the flight: the footage shows the giant four-engine bombers taking off from a military airfield and flying over the ocean before safely returning home. At least two fighter jets can also be seen in the video.
The Tu-95MS is the fastest turboprop-powered aircraft in the world and the only turboprop-powered strategic bomber that is still operational. It has a flight range of over 10,000 kilometers and an operative ceiling of 12 kilometers, according to the military. It can carry Kh-15 cruise missiles that have a range of 2,500 kilometers.
These long-range aircraft regularly perform flights over the Arctic, Northern Atlantic, Black and Baltic Seas, as well as the Pacific Ocean, Moscow said. Last year, Tu-95MS bombers took part in joint Russian- Chinese drills, which were also held in the Sea of Japan.
At that time, a total of 30 aircraft from both nations also took part in the drills, Russia’s Pacific Fleet said, adding that this included anti-submarine planes and helicopters, interceptors and other maritime aircraft.