03/09/2015 Dr James Bosbotinis - DefenceIQ
Russia’s Long Range Aviation Command (LRA) has assumed an increasingly prominent role in recent years, commencing with the resumption of regular bomber patrols in August 2007, and particularly through the course of 2014/2015, as Russia’s resurgence has adopted a distinctly more muscular tone amid deteriorating relations with the West. The LRA is increasing both its tempo and scope of operations: the latter highlighted by the declared intent to expand patrols to new regions, including the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico; in addition, Russian long-range bombers have been observed conducting armed patrols. Most significantly, the LRA is intended to form a core component of a wider conventional strategic deterrent capability. Russia’s interest in developing conventional long-range strike systems is a facet of its on-going military reform efforts whereby it is seeking to enhance the effectiveness of the Russian Armed Forces, especially in terms of its ability to conduct extensive, precise strikes against an adversary’s critical strategic economic and military objectives.
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