WATCH Russian Tu-160 nuclear-capable bombers land in South Africa (VIDEO)
23 Oct, 2019 19:02 / Updated 8 hours ago
Two Tu-160 bombers are seen at an airfield in South Africa. © Twitter / Murad Gazdiev
Two Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers and other military aircraft have touched down in South Africa. The planes covered over 11 thousand kilometers to get there, staying in the air for more than 13 hours.
The two Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers landed at Waterkloof air force base in Tshwane on Wednesday. Russian Il-62 and An-124 military transport planes have also touched down.
The planes covered over 11 thousand kilometers to reach South Africa, flying all the way from Russia without landing. The aircraft were refueled mid-air during the 13-hour flight.
Short videos of the flight, released by Russia’s military, show the planes taking off, doing the mid-air refueling, as well as landing in South Africa. As the Tu-160s approached their destination, they were accompanied by several South African Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets.
The rare "friendly visit" is designed to strengthen ties and nurture cooperation between the two nations, the Russian Defense Ministry has said.
The visit coincides with the Russia-Africa summit, that kicked off today in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. The two-day forum, co-chaired by Russia and Egypt, brings together all the 54 countries of the African continent.
First ever Russia-Africa Forum gives developing nations a wider – and better – choice in future economic partnerships
Moscow is seeking to boost cooperation with all the African nations, Russia's President Vladimir Putin said while addressing the summit. Trade between Russia and Africa grew by 17 percent in 2018 to $20 billion – and Russia is now aiming at doubling it in the next four or five years.