Putin’s Flight on Nuclear Bomber Sends Strong Message to the West

Thu Feb 22 2024
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MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin took a flight on a modernized Tu-160M nuclear-capable strategic bomber on Thursday, showcasing Moscow’s nuclear capabilities to the West.

The Tu-160M, known as “Blackjacks” by NATO, is an updated version of a Cold War-era bomber, designed for long-distance weapon delivery in the event of nuclear war.

State TV footage depicted Putin descending from the plane and praising its reliability and modernization, emphasizing its acceptance into the Russian Air Force.

This demonstration comes amidst strained relations between Russia and the West, over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine and the recent death of opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

Putin’s flight, lasting 30 minutes, took place at a time when tensions between Russia and the West are at their highest since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that the flight’s route remains classified, underscoring the secretive nature of the operation.

The Tu-160M, capable of carrying 12 cruise missiles or 12 short-range nuclear missiles, represents a significant upgrade with enhanced weaponry, navigation, and avionics.

Putin’s flight marks a significant display of Russia’s military prowess, with plans for further deliveries of the modernized Tu-160M bombers to the Russian Air Force by 2027.


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