This footage shows Russian missile carriers reportedly on an exercise flight that lasted seven hours over the Sea of Japan.
The footage shows Russian aircraft taking off from an undisclosed location and flying over what the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) claimed on Tuesday, 23rd August, was neutral airspace over the Sea of Japan before returning to base in a mission that lasted seven hours.
The images also show at least one of the bombers being escorted by a fighter jet during the training exercise.
The Russian MoD claimed in a statement, also obtained on 23rd August, that the images show how “two Tu-95MS, long-range strategic missile carriers performed a planned flight in the airspace over the neutral waters of the Sea of Japan.”
The Russian MoD also claimed: “The flight duration was about seven hours. Fighter escort of the Tu-95ms aircraft was provided by the crews of the Su-30cm of the Russian Aerospace Forces.
“At certain stages of the route, the strategic missile carriers were escorted by F-16 fighters of the Republic of Korea Air Force.
“Long-range aviation pilots regularly fly over the neutral waters of the Arctic, North Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Black and Baltic Seas.
“All flights of aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces are carried out in strict accordance with international rules for the use of airspace.
The Tu-95MS, a variant of the Soviet Union’s first intercontinental strategic bomber that was originally used in the early 1950s, has undergone significant upgrades since the 2000s.
In March, the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that Russia had used a Tu-95MS to launch missiles on the western-central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia from an area in the Black Sea.
The Ukrainian Air Force said at the time: “According to the updated information, eight missiles, presumably X-101s, which have a long range, up to 5,500 kilometres, were launched from strategic bombers, Tu-95ms and Tu-160, from the Black Sea area.”
The Su-30 is a Russian fighter jet geared towards air-to-air combat, while the F-16 is an American fighter jet that was originally built for the US Air Force. The Republic of Korea, also known as NATO ally South Korea, operates over 180 F-16s.
We have not been able to independently verify the claims or the footage.