Russian bomb planes make 25 hours record-long Arctic flight
World record for this type of aircraft, according to the Defense Ministry.
The two Tu-160 supersonic long-range bombers made three mid-air refueling from six Il-78 tanker planes during the 25 hours flight. After flying north to the Barents Sea and the central Arctic Ocean, the plane flew over the Kara, Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas as well as the Pacific Ocean in Russia’s Far East.
For parts of the flight, the bombers were followed by Su-35 fighters. The Defense Ministry in Moscow also confirms that foreign aircraft followed the planes for part of the route, but did not specify the origin of the foreign planes.
North American Aerospace Defense Command said Saturday it had scrambled F-22 Raptors and an E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, supported by KC-135 tankers.
#NORAD F-22 Raptors and an E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, supported by KC-135 air refuelers, positively identified two Tu-160 bombers and two Su-35 fighter aircraft entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) three times last night.— North American Aerospace Defense Command (@NORADCommand) September 19, 2020
U.S. planes positively identified two Tu-160 and two Su-35 fighter aircraft entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone three times last night, according to NORAD.
The Russian planes, flying in international airspace, were in the zone for approximately four hours.
The previous record with Tu-160 aircraft was set in June 2010, when the duration lasted for 24 hours and 24 minutes.