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  Monday, June 17, 2019
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Two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers that landed in Venezuela
Two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers that landed in Venezuela last week will carry out a patrol mission over the Caribbean on Monday, a Russian Air Force spokesman said. (Russian strategic bombers - Image gallery)

The bombers landed at Venezuela's Libertador airfield on September 10 and were accompanied by NATO fighters during the 13-hour flight from their home base in central Russia.

"The current patrol mission will be conducted over neutral waters in the Caribbean," Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said. "The aircraft will take off from Libertador airbase and spend about six hours in the air."

The Tu-160 Blackjack is a supersonic, variable-geometry heavy bomber (INFOgraphics , VIDEO), designed to strike strategic targets with nuclear and conventional weapons deep in continental theaters of operation.

According to the spokesman, the bombers are carrying dummy missiles without warheads and will practice patrol sorties in a tropical climate.

Following the training mission, the Tu-160 crews will meet with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday.

"The meeting will take place on September 16 at the invitation of the Venezuelan president," Drik said.

Earlier reports indicated that the bombers had been scheduled to return home on September 15.


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