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    Russian bombers to fire live missiles in Siberia drills

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    Five Russian Tu-22M3 Backfire-C bombers will fire live missiles at a test range in East Siberia's Irkutsk Region during tactical exercises starting on Wednesday, the Air Force said on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti) - Five Russian Tu-22M3 Backfire-C bombers will fire live missiles at a test range in East Siberia's Irkutsk Region during tactical exercises starting on Wednesday, the Air Force said on Tuesday.

    Spokesman Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said the four-man crews will receive training in combat flight theory and enhance their aviation weaponry skills.

    "The exercises will last until July 25, and five Tu-22 aircraft will take part in them. The bomber crews will also master interoperability with other Air Force branches and Air Defense units," he said.

    The Tu-22M3 Backfire-C is a supersonic, swing-wing, long-range strategic bomber that Russia uses mainly to patrol the skies over its southern borders, Central Asia and the Black Sea region.

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