UK Defense Ministry Says Russia Moves Bombers To Far East To Avoid Attacks


Russia has relocated strategic bombers from its Engels Air Force Base to the Far East after several of its aircraft were damaged in December attacks, Britain’s Defense Ministry said Thursday.

Engels Air Force Base is a strategic bomber military airbase in Russia located bear Saratov, and had been the target of recent drone attacks launched by Ukrainian forces.  

In a Defense Intelligence update, the UK Defense Ministry noted that on December 27, 2022, Oleksiyy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, reported that Russia had relocated long range aviation (LA) Tu-95MS
BEAR heavy bombers and Tu-22M3 BACKFIRE medium bombers to Russia’s Far East.

“On 5 and 26 December 2022, the LA’s Engels air base was struck and several aircraft damaged. Russia has highly likely responded to the incidents by conducting a general dispersal of LA aircraft, especially to airfields further away from Ukraine,” the Defense Ministry said.

However, the Ministry warned that, “The LA will still be able to fire air launched cruise missiles into Ukraine because the weapons have a 5,000km range, in addition to the flight range of the bombers.”

Nevertheless, operating from dispersal locations will add additional maintenance stress to the Russian forces and will further deplete the limited flying hours available on these aging aircraft, the Ministry concluded.

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