Long-range aviation of Russia’s Air Force performed another flight to patrol the air space above neutral Atlantic waters. Russian Air Force Colonel Alexander Dobryshevsky said Thursday that two strategic bombers Tu-95 MS (NATO reporting name Bear) and two Il-78 tanker aircraft conducted a 15-hour flight above the Atlantic Ocean at night of April 24.
“The flight continued for over 15 hours with one refueling in the air. NATO’s Tornado and F-16 jets accompanied our planes during the flight,” the official said.
Dobryshevsky added that Russia strictly observed the international rules of using air space above neutral waters during the flight. “The planes did not transgress the borders of foreign states,” the official stated.
President Putin signed the decree on August 17 of 2007 to renew the flights of strategic aviation to patrol territories. Russia single-handedly ceased the flights of its strategic bombers in 1992. “Unfortunately, a few countries followed our example,” Putin said.
Putin personally decided to renew the flights of strategic bombers on a regular basis not to endanger Russia’s security. Strategic bombers will conduct air patrol flights 20-30 times a month.
The Tupolev Tu-95 is the most successful and longest-serving Tupolev strategic bomber and missile carrier built by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
The Tu-95 is still in service, as of 2008, and is expected to remain in service with the Russian Air Force until at least 2040. The Tu-95 is powered by four Kuznetsov NK-12 turboprop engines, each driving contra-rotating propellers, and remains the fastest propeller-driven aircraft to go into operational use. Its wings are swept back at 35 degrees, a very sharp angle by the standards of propeller-driven aircraft.
To date, it remains the only turboprop-powered strategic bomber to have entered operational service. A naval development of the bomber is designated Tu-142.
Prepared by Dmitry Sudakov