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Monday, October 02, 2006

Russia's long-range aircraft fires four missiles during check

ENGELS (Ria Novosti): Russian long-range aircraft fired four cruise missiles during a routine check, the commander of Russia's Long-Range Aviation Command said Friday.

"Cruise missiles fired from the Tu-160 [Blackjack] and Tu-95MS [Bear] successfully hit their targets," Lieutenant General Igor Khvorov said.

He said a total of 18 cruise missiles were fired during the exercise and that 70 aircraft participated, including four Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers. He added that Tu-22M3 Backfires performed up to eight successful bombing runs on practice ranges.

Russian Long Range Bomber Tu-160 Blackjack
Khvorov said crews demonstrated great skill in reaching missile launch points at the right times.

"The margin of error for the arrival of a strategic aircraft at a launch point is four seconds," he said. "If an aircraft misses this margin by even one second, we launch an investigation."

He said long-range aircraft flew over the North Pole while crossing the Arctic Ocean, and also reached Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and Japan's western coast, without entering any country's airspace.

"All the aircraft involved flew over neutral waters, and none of them came closer than 12 nautical miles (25 kilometers, 16 miles) to the maritime borders of any country," he said.

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