Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian Air Force to hold massive exercise near Japanese airspace, 40 strategic bombers to carry out five-day drill; Moscow and Tokyo technically in state of war since 1945
April 16, 2012
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Like the US Air Force’s B-52, Russia’s strategic bombers are Cold War relics, but they can still pack a punch with their air-launched cruise missiles. Russia has not hesitated to flex its muscles around the disputed South Kuril Islands, which Soviet troops wrested from Japan at the end of the Second World War. The Kremlin media reports that earlier today the Russian Air Force began a massive five-day drill near Japan:
About 40 strategic bombers will participate in five-day drills in Russia’s Maritime Territory near the Japanese border, Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said on Monday. The long-range aviation exercise, which started earlier in the day, includes aerial bombing and launches of airborne cruise missiles at the Litovka test range, he said. Other training missions will include aerial patrol and midair refueling. About 30 crews of Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers, some 10 crews of Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers and two Il-78 aerial tankers will participate.
Moscow and Tokyo did not sign a peace treaty in 1945 and, thus, are still technically in a state of war. Last year, President Dmitry Medvedev announced that Russia will beef up its military presence in the South Kurils.