MOSCOW, October 31 (RIA Novosti)
Two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers arrived in Nicaragua on Thursday after taking off from an airbase in Venezuela, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The nuclear-capable bombers “flew above the neutral waters of the Caribbean Sea, entered the airspace of Nicaragua and performed a planned landing,” the ministry said.
The aircraft covered over 2,500 km during their three-hour flight from the Maiquetia airfield in Venezuela.
Earlier this week, the two bombers took off from the Engels airbase in the Volga region and covered a distance of more than 10,000 kilometers (over 6,200 miles) during a 13-hour non-stop flight to Venezuela.
The ministry said the current mission was carried out “in line with the program of combat training” and corresponded to all international norms.
Russian strategic bombers conducted a similar mission in 2008. It was followed by a visit to Venezuela by a Russian naval task force, which took part in joint exercises with the Venezuelan navy.
The Tu-160 Blackjack is a supersonic, variable-geometry heavy bomber, designed to strike strategic targets with nuclear and conventional weapons deep in continental theatres of operation