"During the training flights the crews practiced landing at emergency airfields, as well as mid-air refueling in day and nighttime. The exercise involved crews of the Sukhoi Su-27 and Mikoyan MiG-31 fighter jets tasked with escorting the long-range aircraft and intercepting mock aerial targets," the ministry said in a statement obtained by Interfax-AVN on Thursday.
The planes took off from the airfield in Engels, Saratov region, and engaged ground targets located in the Komi Republic and the Kamchatka region, having flown a total of over 100,000 kilometers, the spokesperson said.
"The coordinates of the ground targets were sent to the strategic aircraft crews in mid-air, immediately before a bomb run, from a Beriev A-50 early warning and control aircraft," the spokesperson said.
Pilots of Antonov-12 transport aircraft and Mil Mi-8 helicopters held a search and rescue drill by conducting a visual search for the crews "in distress" and removing and delivering the victims to a point of destination.
"In all, the exercise involved about 20 aircraft and over 60 plane and helicopter sorties," the spokesperson said.
The Russian Air Force Nuclear deterrent Tupolev Tu-160, Tu-95MS and Tu-22MZ strategic and long-range bomber aircraft have destroyed mock targets within 2,000 to 7,000 kilometers from their air base.