New Russian missile threat to homeland

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Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, who is also commander of the U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Command (NORAD), said Russia “only recently developed and deployed capabilities to threaten us below the nuclear threshold.” (Associated Press/File)

 

The commander of the military’s Northern Command warned this week that Moscow is deploying conventionally armed missiles that for the first time are capable of striking targets deep inside the United States.

Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, who is also commander of the U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Command (NORAD), stated in prepared congressional testimony that while Russian nuclear missiles have threatened the country for more than 50 years, Moscow “only recently developed and deployed capabilities to threaten us below the nuclear threshold.” Continue reading

Russia Plans Cruise Missile Tests, Bomber Patrols for 2014

MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Air Force is preparing to conduct a series of tests of new cruise missiles, as well as carrying out strategic bomber patrols including stops in other countries, the commander of its long-range fleet said Wednesday.

“In 2014 we are planning practice launches of cruise missiles, including new models,” Gen. Lt. Anatoly Zhikharev told reporters, without specifying the missiles to be fired. Russian planes launched 15 cruise missiles last year.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said last summer that Russia was planning a 30-fold increase of its cruise missile arsenal by 2020. Continue reading

Russian Tu-160 Strategic Bombers Land in Venezuela

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MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – Two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers on Monday flew from an airbase in southwestern Russia and landed in Venezuela, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The nuclear-capable bombers, which took off from the Engels airbase in the Volga region, “flew over the Caribbean, the eastern Pacific and along the southwestern coast of the North American continent, and landed at Maiquetia airfield in Venezuela,” the ministry said in a statement. Continue reading

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian Air Force probes Bulgarian airspace via Black Sea incursion, Warsaw Pact-turned-NATO member Bulgaria fails to repel intrusion, Turkish Air Force responds instead…

In recent weeks, the Russian Air Force has dispatched its Tu-22M bombers to probe NATO air defences over both the Baltic and Black Seas. Known in the West as the Backfire, the Soviet-built Tu-22M (pictured here), along with the Tu-95 Bear and Tu-160 Blackjack, is one of three types of strategic bomber in Moscow’s inventory.

The Tupolev Design Bureau is presently developing Russia’s first stealth bomber, but no such combat-ready aircraft is expected to fly until as late as 2025, although Russia’s first stealth fighter prototype took to the skies two years ago. In the meanwhile, the Russian Air Force is upgrading the electronics and weapons systems aboard selected Blackjack and Backfire aircraft. With the exception of the US Air Force’s B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, the long-range bombers flown by both countries are based on aviation technology that is anywhere from 30 to 50 years old.

Earlier this month, NATO fighter jets based Lithuania intercepted a Tu-22M cruising through “neutral” airspace over the Baltic Sea. According to officials in the neighboring republic of Latvia, the Russian military was conducting exercises in the Kaliningrad exclave. Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks said his country had not been officially notified of the exercises, which, in any case, is “not technically required.” The former Soviet republics of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia joined NATO in 2004.

Full article: Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian Air Force probes Bulgarian airspace via Black Sea incursion, Warsaw Pact-turned-NATO member Bulgaria fails to repel intrusion, Turkish Air Force responds instead… (Once Upon A Time in the West)

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia “hits afterburner” on stealth tech: PAK FA fighter to enter combat duty in 2015, PAK DA strategic bomber projected to enter service by 2025; modernizes Soviet-era inventory, upgrades for Blackjack and Backfire-C bomber fleets by 2020

All of the upgraded combat aircraft will remain in service until the Tupolev Design Bureau develops Russia’s fifth generation, stealth-based strategic bomber, PAK-DA, with the expectation that the first will enter combat duty in 2025.

Under the snappy title, “Russia hits afterburners on stealth tech,” Shane McGlaun and Trent Nouveau write: “It comes as little surprise that Russia has significantly accelerated development of its stealth program in recent years, and remains on track to debut an operational Sukhoi PAK FA twin-engine stealth jet fighter sometime in 2015.”

Full article: Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia “hits afterburner” on stealth tech: PAK FA fighter to enter combat duty in 2015, PAK DA strategic bomber projected to enter service by 2025; modernizes Soviet-era inventory, upgrades for Blackjack and Backfire-C bomber fleets by 2020 (Once Upon A Time in the West)