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Russian Bombers Exercise Near Japan Border

Russia on Monday began a five-day aerial exercise in the country's maritime territory near the Japanese border in which some 40 strategic bombers are taking part, the Defense Ministry said.

The long-range aviation exercise includes aerial bombings and launching of airborne cruise missiles from the Litovka test range, Russian state media quoted Ministry spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik as saying.

Other training missions will include aerial patrol and midair refueling. About 30 crews of Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers, some ten crews of Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers and two Il-78 aerial tankers will be taking part in the drill which has caused concern for Japan.

In early February, five Russian aircraft, including two Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers, two Su-24 Fencer reconnaissance planes and an A-50 Mainstay airborne early warning and control aircraft flew close to Japanese territory without intruding into its airspace. However, they were shadowed by Japanese Air Self Defense Force F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft, the report said.

by RTT Staff Writer

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