Russian strategic bombers on 23-hour record mission

The Tu-160 Blackjack is a supersonic, variable-geometry heavy bomber.

Updated: Jun 10, 2010, 16:55 PM IST

Moscow: Two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers have carried out a record 23-hour patrol covering a distance of 18,000 kilometres without touching the ground.

"This mission was the second maximum range flight ever conducted by this type of aircraft. A Tu-160 carried out a similar mission last year and stayed in the air for 21 hours," Air Force spokesman Lt Col Vladimir Drik said.

The Tu-160 Blackjack is a supersonic, variable-geometry heavy bomber, designed to strike strategic targets with nuclear and conventional weapons deep in continental theatres of operation.

"The current mission set a record by exceeded the duration of the previous flight by two hours, managing around 23 hours with a range of 18,000 kilometres," he was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

The bombers flew along the Russian borders and over neutral waters in the Arctic and Pacific Oceans.

They practiced instrumental flight and carried out two in-flight refuelling from Il-78 aerial tankers. 23 hours later the bombers landed at their base in Engels in the Volga region at 10.00 AM (local time) today.

PTI