The tensions between Moscow and Washington continue to escalate.
Two Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers, dubbed the “white swan,” was part of a fleet of aircraft that arrived at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Maichetia, Venezuela, today after a flight of more than 6,200 miles.
The Tupolev Tu-160 is a supersonic variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber, the largest and heaviest supersonic aircraft every built, which entered service in April of 1987. They make up the aerial component of Russia’s continuous nuclear weapons deployment—also known as the “nuclear triad.”
There are only 27 Tu-160s in service, meaning the deployment of two to Venezuela constitutes a significant deployment of Russia’s nuclear deterrent to the Latin American country. Although structurally similar to the B1-B Lancer, it performs an entirely different mission objective for the Russian Aerospace Forces.
It is not immediately clear how long the strategic bombers will be stationed in Venezuela. Previously, Moscow has sent Tu-160s there; in September of 2008 and in October and November of 2013.
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced the bombers were joined by an An-124 heavy military transport plane, as well as an Il-62 long-haul plane. Their route took them over the Norwegian Sea, the Barents Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea, and included for a brief time F-16 “escorts” from the Norwegian Air Force.
Full article: Russia Places Its ‘White Swan’ Strategic Bombers in Venezuela (TruNews)