A Russian supersonic heavy bomber crashed in the Arctic, killing most of the crew

  • A Russian supersonic heavy long-range bomber crash-landed Tuesday during a training flight.
  • At least three of the four crew members reportedly died in the accident.
  • The crash comes on the heels of a mid-air collision last Friday involving two Su-34 fighter-bombers.

A Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber crash-landed in the Arctic on Tuesday after a training flight, Russia state media first reported.

The twin-engine supersonic heavy long-range bomber crashed while landing in a blizzard in Murmansk, which is located north of the Arctic Circle, the Associated Press reported, citing the Russian defence ministry. The Soviet-era nuclear-capable aircraft broke apart when it hit the runway and caught fire.

Russian state media TASS initially reported that the commander and navigator survived, while the assistant commander and the operator did not survive. The two survivors were taken to the hospital, where one of the two died, bringing the number of dead to three, the AP explained, citing local media.

The Tu-22M3, also known as the Backfire, is a long-range strategic penetration and maritime strike bomber. In service with the Russian air force, it has been involved in the conflict in Syria. During Tuesday’s crash, the bomber aircraft was reportedly unarmed.

The lastest accident comes just days after two Russian Su-34 fighter bombers collided in mid-air during a training event over the Strait of Tartary.


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In the wake of that accident, Russia made the decision to ground all Su-34 flights.

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