Crews of Tupolev Tu-160, Tu-95MS and Tu-22MZ strategic and long-range bomber aircraft have destroyed mock targets within 2,000 to 7,000 kilometers from their air base, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
"During the training flights the crews practiced landing at emergency airfields, as well as mid-air refueling in day and nighttime. The exercise involved crews of the Sukhoi Su-27 and Mikoyan MiG-31 fighter jets tasked with escorting the long-range aircraft and intercepting mock aerial targets," the ministry said in a statement obtained by Interfax-AVN on Thursday.
The planes took off from the airfield in Engels, Saratov region, and engaged ground targets located in the Komi Republic and the Kamchatka region, having flown a total of over 100,000 kilometers, the spokesperson said.
"The coordinates of the ground targets were sent to the strategic aircraft crews in mid-air, immediately before a bomb run, from a Beriev A-50 early warning and control aircraft," the spokesperson said.
Pilots of Antonov-12 transport aircraft and Mil Mi-8 helicopters held a search and rescue drill by conducting a visual search for the crews "in distress" and removing and delivering the victims to a point of destination.
"In all, the exercise involved about 20 aircraft and over 60 plane and helicopter sorties," the spokesperson said.
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