Russian Tu-95 Bear nuclear bombers firing live cruise missiles for “Exercise Stability 2008” Oct.-6-12 over sub-Arctic Russia in the Northern Pacific Ocean off the coast of US Alaska, and Belarus.
Colonel Vladimir Drik stated this practice of the nuclear triad includes the Tu-95 and Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers, which will “carry their maximum combat payload and fire all the cruise missiles on board.” Also taking part in the air force exercise are Tu-22M3 Backfire strategic bombers, air superiority fighters, interceptors and aerial tankers. Twelve Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers took off for an exercise that involved launching multiple cruise missiles to bomb a dummy town on a testing ground in the Arctic region of Russia.
Russia’s nuclear “Nuclear Triad” refers to three tiers of its national nuclear arsenal:
2. land-based missiles
3. ballistic missile submarines
The arsenal is said to have first- or second-strike capability.
According to a DEBKAfile article the war games are delivering three deliberate messages from Moscow to Washington:
2. Russia can still exert its power and wealth militarily in the world global financial crisis
3. Russia’ merger of the Mediterranean and Black Sea fleets and presence in the Syrian port of Tartus express a bold challenge to eh US Sixth Fleet.
A Topol nuclear-capable missile launched from the cosmodrome in northwest Russia landed further south on Russia’s west coast. Many items tested and demonstrated were outdated equipment, but Russia has more than doubled their military spending — especially to upgrade and modernize their navy.