Friday, December 07, 2007

Flights by the Russian Long Range Boys continue!

The following extract taken from Russian MOD website, translated and submitted for information and interest by Old Crow. Date of article 6 December 2007.

Today, 4 TU-95 aircraft carried out scheduled flights into the areas of the Atlantic and the Arctic Oceans. The flights took place in difficult meteorological conditions and lasted for 9 to 16 hours with Air-to-Air refuelling. During the course of this aerial patrolling, the TU-95s were escorted by NATO fighters.

Long Range Aviation aircrews carry out patrol flights on a daily basis in the air-space over neutral waters of the Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific Oceans and the Black Sea. They fly not only from their own bases but also from operational deployment airfields. The flight crews are improving their ability levels and expertise during these flights over northern latitudes and over featureless terrain etc. In the course of such flights the aircrews gain experience in dealing with numerous features of overall flight training and preparedness. Including the most difficult evolution, that of in-flight refuelling from IL-78 Tanker aircraft. This evolution is regarded as one of the highest skills in airmanship wherein two 200-tonne aircraft
are joined together by a 20-metre long flexible refuelling hose while flying at 600 kph.

The refuelling procedure allows the strategic missile-carrying TU-160 and TU-95MS aircraft to remain airborne and on-task for more than 24-hours. In the course of 13/14-hour flights, the strategic TU-160 and TU-95MS missile-carriers carry out their assigned tasks. During these flightrs, the aircraft were escorted several times by NATO fighters (when) in international airspace.