Mishap Grounds Russian Bears

Russia’s Tu-95 strategic bomber fleet is temporarily grounded pending the investigation of a fatal mishap during a June 8 training sortie, reported the state-run TASS Russian News Agency. “The Tu-95 ran over the runway during acceleration,”according to a Russian defense ministry statement, quoted in the June 8 press report. Preliminary information indicates an “engine fire was the cause behind the accident.” The Russian air force operates 63 of the multi-engine turboprop cruise missile carriers alongside its supersonic Tu-22 and Tu-160 strategic bomber fleets. One pilot was killed and another was seriously injured in the incident that took place at Ukrainka Air Base, in Russia’s Far East, according to a UPI report. NATO fighters have frequently intercepted Tu-95s in and around allied airspace since the uptick in tensions following Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea last year.