Russia’s Ministry of Defense apparently plans to deploy Tupolev Tu-22M3 supersonic long-range strategic bombers to Crimea to boost Russia’s defense capabilities in the region in response to the US’ military buildup in Eastern Europe, particularly the installment of the Aegis missile defense system in Romania.
The Russian defense agency is expected to receive six modernized long-range Tu-22M3 Backfire bomber-missile carriers by the end of 2015 but the exact date of the delivery to the Black Sea peninsula has not been made public.
The Tu-22M3 boasts a maximum range of 4,200 miles and has a combat radius of 1,500 miles with a typical weapons load. It is armed with a 23-mm GSh-23 cannon in a remotely controlled tail turret, the Raduga Kh-22 long-range anti-ship missiles and Raduga Kh-15 air-to-surface missiles.
The Russian Army operates more than 100 Tu-22Ms. Their upgrade is part of a major $400 billion initiative to modernize Russia’s forces, scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Full article: Russia’s Supersonic Response to US Missiles in Europe (Sputnik News)