05:59 GMT +310 December 2018
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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 14. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- In the end of this week Russia will resume flights of Tu-160 strategic bombers, Vladimir Mikhailov, commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force, has said. The interval is caused by the crash of one Tu-160 last September in the Saratov region in the east of European Russia. The bomber, carrying no combat weapons, was performing a check flight after replacement of its power plant. Four crewmen have died in the catastrophe.

    At the Wednesday news conference in Moscow, the commander-in-chief also said that cause of the catastrophe has now been established. As fuel is used, large cavities are formed in the fuel tanks, explained the general. At an altitude exceeding four kilometers, the low pressure may flatten the fuel tanks. To avoid this, the cavities are filled with liquid nitrogen in flight. In the crashed bomber, the system of filling the fuel tanks with liquid nitrogen failed and the tanks collapsed at the high altitude, said the general. There was no guilt of the crew in the crash, stressed the commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force.

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