Two Russian Tu-22M3 strike bomber flew near the contested Crimea peninsula and Ukrainian coast in the Black Sea.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported on Thursday that: “Two Tu-22M3 long-range bombers performed a scheduled flight in the airspace over international waters in the Black Sea.”
During the flight, crews of long-range bombers covered about 4,500 kilometers and were in the air for more than 5 hours.
The Defense Ministry noted that Russia’s long-range aviation regularly performed flights over international waters in the Arctic, North Atlantic, the Black and Caspian Seas and the Pacific Ocean.
Russian Defense Ministry representative said: “All flights of the Russian Aerospace Forces are carried out in strict accordance with the International Airspace Management System without violating the borders of other states.”
Tu-22M3 is a long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber developed by Tupolev for the Soviet Air Force. The aircraft is currently in service with the Russian Air Force and Russian Naval Aviation.
According to Ausairpower.net, Tu-22M3 bomber aircraft, which remained in production until 1993, is primarily used to conduct nuclear strike and conventional attack operations. It can also be deployed in anti-ship and maritime reconnaissance missions.