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Two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers have carried out a record-breaking 23-hour patrol with a planned flight range of 18,000 kilometers (over 11,000 miles), an Air Force spokesman said on Thursday.
"This mission was the second maximum range flight ever conducted by this type of aircraft. A Tu-160 carried out a similar mission last year and stayed in the air for 21 hours," Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said.
"The current mission set a record by exceeded the duration of the previous flight by two hours, managing around 23 hours with a range of 18,000 kilometers," the official said.
The bombers flew along the Russian borders and over neutral waters in the Arctic and Pacific Oceans.
They practiced instrumental flight and carried out two in-flight refuelings from Il-78 aerial tankers.
The planes landed at their base in Engels in the Volga region at 10.00 Moscow time (08.00 GMT) on Thursday.
The Tu-160 Blackjack is a supersonic, variable-geometry heavy bomber, designed to strike strategic targets with nuclear and conventional weapons deep in continental theaters of operation.
MOSCOW, June 10 (RIA Novosti)
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.