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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian Air Force starts 4-day exercise north of Arctic Circle

RIA Novosti

19/03/2009 13:59 MOSCOW, March 19 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Air Force has launched a four-day exercise near the city of Vorkuta, north of the Arctic Circle, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-95 Bear-H strategic bombers were test launching cruise missiles and dropping precision guided bombs at the Pemboi test range.

He did not say what types of missiles were involved, but a Russian deputy defense minister previously said a new long-range missile would soon enter service with the Air Force.

The launches are part of a command-and-staff exercises supervised by Maj. Gen. Pavel Androsov, long-range aviation commander, and are due to last until March 20.

Drik said a total of six warplanes were taking part in the drills.

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