Four Russian Aerospace Forces Tu-95MS strategic bombers performed a planned flight over the “neutral waters” of the Chukchi, Bering and Okhotsk Seas and the northern part of the Pacific Ocean, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
“Four Tu-95MS strategic bombers of Russian Aerospace Forces’s long-range aviation completed a scheduled flight in airspace over the neutral waters of the Chukchi, Bering and Okhotsk seas, as well as the North Pacific. Take-off was carried out from airfields in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and Amur Region,” the ministry said.
According to the Ministry statement, the 11-hour mission was “carried out in strict accordance with the international rules for the use of airspace”.
“The Russian aircraft were escorted by U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor fifth-generation fighter jets at some sections of the route”, the statement added.
This is the second such mission conducted by the Russian Tu-95MS bombers this past week.
On June 10, four Tu-95MS bombers carried out air patrols over the “neutral waters” of the Chukchi, Bering and Okhotsk Seas and the North Pacific which led to the U.S. Air Force scrambling F-22 Raptors to intercept the bombers.
Tupolev Tu-95 (NATO reporting name: “Bear”) is a large, four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile platform. First flown in 1952, the Tu-95 entered service with the Soviet Union in 1956 and is expected to serve the Russian Air Force until at least 2040.
Tu-95MS “Bear-H” is an upgraded variant of the Tu-95 bomber. This variant became the launch platform of the Raduga Kh-55 cruise missile and put into serial production in 1981.