23 Dec 2018 17:01

Russian long-range aviation crews fire new missiles upon seaborne target in 2018 - Defense Ministry

MOSCOW. Dec 23 (Interfax-AVN) - Pilots of Russian strategic aircraft belonging to Russia's nuclear triad have undergone new types of combat training this year, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

"For the first time during this academic year, line crews fired new airborne guided missiles upon a real maritime target at a marine range. The firing passed properly, all missiles hit the target, which confirms high efficiency of the new airborne weapons," it said.

"Tupolev Tu-160 planes flew at the Anadyr airfield for the first time in 2018," it said.

"The Arctic airfield Anadyr was used for an air regiment's tactical flying exercise. The complexity of the task was that the crews had to land at this airfield, unknown to them and with unstable meteorological conditions, following a lengthy flight in Arctic latitudes," the ministry said.

In addition, "a pair of Tu-160 strategic bombers and support formations have flown to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for the first time in five years," the ministry said. "Upon their arrival in Venezuela, training was arranged and a special flight was carried out, in which aircraft took off from and landed at the Maiquetia airfield over the Caribbean Sea. The crews gained experience in flying in remote geographical areas, in southern latitudes," it said.

Russian long-range aircraft have flown over 20,000 hours in 2018, the Defense Ministry said.