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    RUSSIAN PLANES MAY BE INVOLVED IN ATLANTIC EXERCISE

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 27 (RIA NOVOSTI) - The command of the Russian Air Force is ready to send strategic aviation planes to the Atlantic area for combat training, Vladimir Mikhailov, Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, said on Friday at a meeting with the attaches of foreign embassies.

    "We are ready today to perform the mission. Only the heading has to be laid. Flying tanks will be used, if need be. After mid-air refueling they fly back and the strategic bombers escorted by fighters will continue to perform the mission," Mikhailov said.

    Assessing the results of combat training in 2003, Mikhailov called "a breakthrough" the resumption of flights of Russian strategic aviation above the Pacific, Indian and Arctic oceans.

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