Tu-160 bombers return to Russia after visit to Venezuela

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MOSCOW, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) — Two Tu-160 strategic bombers have returned to their home base in Russia after an international visit to Venezuela, the Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday.

The Long-range aircraft flew in the airspace over the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean, Norwegian and Barents Seas, covering over 12,000 km during the flight with midair refueling, according to a statement from the ministry.

On Monday, a group of four Russian military aircraft, including two Tu-160 strategic bombers, a heavy An-124 military transport aircraft and an Il-62 long-range aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces, landed in Venezuela.

During the visit to Venezuela, the crew of the long-range aircraft carried out a scheduled flight in the airspace over the Caribbean Sea, gaining practical experience in executing a flight mission in the equatorial area in high humidity and temperature regimes, the ministry said.

They also performed joint flights with the fighter aviation crews of the Venezuelan Air Force, which escorted the Russian aircraft at certain stages of the route, it said.

On the final day of the visit, the top brass of Russian and Venezuelan military held talks on the progress of the flights of the Russian and Venezuelan aviation crews and issues of military cooperation, according to the statement.

Earlier this month, Russian and Venezuelan defense ministers met in Moscow and discussed bilateral military technical cooperation, during which the Russian side said it expected that Russian military aircraft training flights to Venezuela’s airfields would continue.

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