Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu stated Sunday that Tu-160 strategic bombers’ flights to Chukotka are a part of ongoing tactical exercises, Russian News Agency TASS reported.
Shoigu confirmed that flight to Anadyr, the easternmost town in Russia and the closest point to the US border, are conducted not to bully the US. “How is it possible to bully your neighbors using strategic bombers?” Shoigu said.
“We are now doing what we did before. Our strategic and long-range bombers have started to conduct flights to areas where they used to fly in the past. These flights are carried out according to schedule.”
Last year Russia conducted similar drills and Tu-160 also flew to Anadyr. According to the Ministry of Defense of Russia, the strategic bombers cover the distance over 6,000 km in a little over eight hours.
The Tupolev Tu-160, aircraft developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau in 1970s, is reportedly the largest and the heaviest supersonic missile carrier bomber.
Natalia Veselnitskaya — official website