Tu-142 Bear-F is the maritime reconnaissance/strike version of the Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber, designed mainly for anti-submarine warfare (ASW).
"On June 11, two Tu-142 anti-submarine warfare planes conducted a routine patrol flight over the Arctic, including regions close to the North Pole," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.
Russia may soon shift the focus of its military strategy toward the northern latitudes in order to protect its national interests in the Arctic, especially on its continental shelf, which may contain large deposits of oil and natural gas.
Dygalo said Navy planes would step up regular patrols over the Arctic in the near future.
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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.