A Russian Air Force strategic bomber has crashed outside the city of Khabarovsk, near the Chinese border, according to a Tuesday statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense via local media.
The Tupolev Tu-95MS Bear bomber went down during a training flight about 50 miles away from the headquarters of the Russian Eastern Military District, according to the statement provided to the TASS wire service..
“On July 14 at 9:50 A.M. Moscow time [2:50 EST] the Tu-95MS aircraft crashed while performing a scheduled training flight some 80 kilometers from Khabarovsk. The crew ejected,” the ministry said.
“According to preliminary information, after a report by the crew’s commander about an emergency situation, the flight control head ordered the crew to leave the plane by parachutes. The search and rescue groups are looking for the plane’s crewmembers.”
The Russians have always had an atrocious safety record, in both civil and military aviation. And they’ve certainly not recovered from the devastation of the forces in the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989.
That’s not to say they have no combat capability, but they certainly don’t have the capability they once had. Even with the increased operational tempo of the last couple years, training in the Russian Air Force is far below the standards of most Western forces.