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Russian nuclear bombers hold exercises over North Pole

by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Aug 14, 2007
Russian strategic bombers on Tuesday began five days of exercises over the North Pole, marking the latest in a series of displays of Moscow's military muscle.

The nuclear-capable bombers will practice firing cruise missiles, navigation in the polar region and aerial refuelling manoeuvres, the Russian air force said in a statement.

The exercises come barely a week after Russian strategic Tu-95 bombers flew over the Pacific to within a few hundred kilometres (miles) of the US military base on the island of Guam -- and, according to a Russian general, exchanged grins with US fighter pilots sent to intercept.

They also follow recent attempts by Moscow to bolster Russia's territorial claims in the Arctic region.

One Russian air force officer, who asked not to be identified, told AFP he expected US interceptors would once again make their presence felt during this week's exercises.

"It is a traditional practice for military pilots to see foreign pilots come up to meet them and say to hello," he said.

"The United States are aware of our exercise," he added.

Russia's long-range bombers have been involved in a number of other exercises in recent months.

On July 20, Norway and Britain scrambled its fighter planes after Norway detected Russian bombers flying over the North sea between Norway and Britain.

About 20 Russian aircraft will take part in the polar exercises: TU-95s (Tupolevs) a long-range strategic bomber; TU-22s, the strategic supersonic bomber most used by Russia; and Il-78s (Ilyushins), a four-engine aerial refuelling aircraft.

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Russia Approves Mass Production Of Cutting-Edge Bulava Missile
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Aug 08, 2007
Russia has moved to a higher level in the design of strategic sea-based nuclear systems. Admiral Vladimir Masorin, commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, said the Bulava-M (SS-NX-30), a naval derivative of the land-based missile Topol (SS-27), had been approved for mass production. It will be supplied to the new fourth-generation Project 955 Borey-class strategic submarines. Three such submarines, the Yury Dolgoruky, the Vladimir Monomakh and the Alexander Nevsky, are being built at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk Region (north of European Russia).

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