Two Russian Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers have carried out a 15-hour routine patrol mission over the Pacific, including near the U.S. Aleutian Islands, an Air Force spokesman said on Wednesday.
"The Tu-95MS bombers left the Ukrainka air base [in the Amur region in Russia's Far East] on March 24 and successfully completed the air patrol mission," Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said.
"The flight took place in the region of the Aleutian Islands," he added.
The strategic bombers practiced various types of flight drills, including in-flight refueling, he also said.
Earlier this month, the commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “We’ve had a couple instances in the past year where Russian planes flew too close to the Aleutian Islands.”
However, he also said the planes were not a threat.
Russian strategic bombers resumed patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans in August 2007, following an order from then-President Vladimir Putin.
All flights by Russian aircraft are performed in strict compliance with international law on the use of airspace over neutral waters, without intruding in the airspace of other states.
MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti)