Russian Tu-160 bombers are a ‘slap on the face’ to NATO, Chinese media says

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BEIJING – Journalists at China’s Sohu portal said Russia frightened NATO during the BALTOPS 2019 exercise, which was held June 9-21 in the Baltic Sea region.

After the alliance carried out another exercise in the Baltic Sea, Russia sent two Tu-160 bombers to the region. According to the authors of the publication, Moscow decided to show countries in the military bloc that provocations near Russian borders would not be tolerated.

“The appearance of the strongest Russian bombers Tu-160 has seriously frightened NATO countries,” the article’s authors believe.

These planes have great combat power, can fly for 23 hours and travel 12,000 kilometers without refueling, and their flight speed can exceed Mach 2. The Tu-160 can drop nuclear bombs, launch cruise missiles and their payload can reach 45 tons, having been dubbed the “mobile arsenal,” the report says.

Appearance of Russian bombers

When the bombers appeared in the sky over the Baltic Sea, the alliance could do nothing about it, as they were patrolling only international or airspace.

To intercept the Tu-160 and give them a warning, Denmark raised an F-16, Finland – an F-18, and Sweden – a JAS-39. But the Russian planes seemed unaware that they were surrounded and continued their flight.

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“These unexpected actions by Russia were a kind of slap in the face to NATO countries,” writes Sohu.

The authors point out that European countries, under Washington’s leadership, are constantly trying to surround Russia and isolate it from the rest of the world. However, Moscow demonstrates through its actions that it will not be offended.

Russian magazine commercial director Arsenal Otechestva (Arsenal of the Fatherland) and military expert Aleksei Leonkov explained why reconnaissance flights from the US, the UK and other NATO countries are being performed almost continuously. near the Russian borders.

“They are trying to get information about the operation of our radio equipment – especially the air defense systems and, in this case, also the Aerospace Force’s coastal defense systems and radio equipment,” said Leonkov.

According to the expert, NATO countries are trying to obtain the necessary information based on which air attack tactics will be elaborated: tactical aviation and attack systems, air and naval cruise missiles.

“It is their usual practice to collect information to obtain so-called media operation signatures. In case of combat operations, this information becomes strategically important,” he added.

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