Two Russian Tu-95MS Bombers Flying Over Barents and Norwegian Sea Intercepted By RoNAF F-35s | Aviation

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A Tu-95MS (Image credit: Wikipedia / Alex Beltyukov – RuSpotters Team)

The Barents Sea and the Arctic region are becoming the theatre of many close encounters between NATO and Russian aircraft these days.

On Apr. 3, 2024, two Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic missile-carrying bombers, carried out a scheduled flight over the neutral waters of the Barents and Norwegian Seas.

“Two Tu-95MS strategic missile-carrying bombers of Russia’s long-range aviation have performed a scheduled flight in the airspace over the neutral waters of the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea. The flight lasted over five hours. Sukhoi Su-35S aircraft of the Aerospace Forces provided fighter support for the flight,” a statement of the Russian MOD said.

The official release does not mention any other supporting assets, but it seems reasonable to believe that the “package” was also supported by Il-78 “Midas” tankers at certain stages of their trip.

Long range deterrence missions

Generally speaking, as we have reported multiple times in the past, Russian Aerospace Forces Tu-95MS “Bear H” and Tu-160 “Blackjack” bombers regularly fly near NATO airspace along with Su-35s also to probe the Alliance’s air defense network and readiness.

Sometimes, they are accompanied by A-50s whose role is probably more to collect mapping and signals intelligence, and build a communications and early warning “Order of Battle” with radio and radar frequencies that can be cataloged for future use, than provide AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Command). The United States and NATO also conduct similar missions close to Russian airspace (and other areas of interest) for the same reasons.

Long-Range Aviation Commander Lieutenant General Sergey Kobylash pointed out that “the flight was conducted in strict compliance with international rules on the use of airspace.” “Long-range aircraft crews perform flights over the neutral waters in the Arctic, the North Atlantic, the Black Sea,…

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