Two Russian Tu-95MS Bear-H strategic bombers have successfully completed a routine patrol mission over the Barents, North and Norwegian seas, the Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
"Two Tu-95MS strategic bombers based at the Engels Airbase [in Saratov Region] carried out patrols over neutral waters in the Barents, Northern and Norwegian seas on September 11-12 in line with the plan of strategic deterrent," spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said.
During the 17-hour mission, the crews practiced instrumental guidance flights and in-flight refueling.
They also carried out joint drills with MiG-31 Foxhound interceptors over Russian territory.
The Russian bombers were shadowed over neutral waters by NATO F-16 and F-4F fighter jets from Denmark, Norway and the UK.
Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans in August 2007.
According to the Defense Ministry, Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers have flown an average of 50 patrol missions every year. The same number of patrols is expected this year.