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Chinese, Russian Long-Range Bombers Make Reciprocal Base Visits

An Ilyushin Il-78 Midas air force tanker and a Tupolev Tu-95MS Bear strategic bomber fly during a military parade in 2015.(RIA Novosti via Getty Images)
An Ilyushin Il-78 Midas air force tanker and a Tupolev Tu-95MS Bear strategic bomber fly during a military parade in 2015.(RIA Novosti via Getty Images)

Chinese and Russian long-range bombers made reciprocal visits to each other’s bases following a joint patrol over regional waters, marking the first such visit following a bomber patrol involving the two countries.

The patrol over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea on Wednesday was undertaken by a pair of Tupolev Tu-95MS “Bear” bombers of the Russian long-range aviation forces and a similar number of Xi’an H-6Ks from of China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force or PLAAF, according to a statement from the Russian defense ministry.

The statement did not identify the bases the bombers landed at, but posts on Chinese social media identified the location where the Russian bombers landed as Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province, southwest of the Chinese post city of Shanghai.

Defense News geolocated a video showing a Tu-95MS bomber taking off at night to a location northeast of Hangzhou-Jianqiao airbase, directly underneath the flightpath of the base’s single runway.

The Russian release added that the bombers “were accompanied by fighters of foreign states” during parts of their journey.

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