Two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 supersonic long-range nuclear bombers conducted drills in an area near Alaska “for the first time in history,” demonstrating that Russia can deploy heavy bombers close to the US, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported on 16 August.
According to a statement issued by the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Tu-160 bombers reportedly flew non-stop more than 4,000 miles from their home base in Saratov in southwestern Russia to Anadyr on the Chukotka Peninsula, which faces Alaska across the Bering Strait.
The local airfield was recently redesigned to accommodate large combat aircraft.
The flight-tactical exercise, in which about 10 Tu-160, Tu-95MS, Il-78 aircraft were involved, were conducted under the command of the long-range aviation commander Lieutenant-General Sergei Kobylash.
According to the Airforce-technology.com, the Tu-160 can carry nuclear and conventional weapons including long-range nuclear missiles. The missiles are accommodated on multi-station launchers in each of the two weapons bays.
The Tu-160 is capable of carrying the strategic cruise missile Kh-55MS, which is known in the West by the Nato designation and codename AS-15 Kent. Up to 12 Kh-55MS missiles can be carried, six in each bay. The Kh-55MS is propelled by a turbofan engine. The maximum range is 3,000km, and it is armed with a 200kt nuclear warhead.