Russia to conduct military exercises in Indian OceanAugust 6th, 2008 - 1:19 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, Aug 6 (RIA Novosti) Russian Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers will join the navy in a series of exercises in the Indian Ocean, the Air Force commander has said. “We are preparing the flights of our strategic aircraft to the Indian ocean to practise interoperability with the Russian navy task force in the region,” Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said Tuesday.
A defence ministry source later confirmed that a joint exercise involving Russian strategic bombers and combat ships had been scheduled for autumn 2008.
The commander said the Air Force had received orders to increase joint training with the Navy and the number of patrol flights across the world’s oceans to ensure security of Russian ships in strategically important routes.
Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August. “Since August 2007, Russian strategic bombers have carried out about 150 patrol flights,” Zelin said.
The patrols allowed the crews of Russian strategic bombers and aerial tankers to gain experience in mid-air refuelling and use of forward landing airfields, he said.