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Russia to increase patrol flights over oceans

Russia is set to drastically increase its number of strategic aviation patrol flights over the world's oceans to 20-30 a month, an Air Force official said.

world Updated: Apr 05, 2008 12:15 IST

Russia is set to drastically increase its number of strategic aviation patrol flights over the world's oceans to 20-30 a month, an Air Force official said.

"We will be making 20 to 30 flights a month, not two or three, as was the case until recently," Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said on Friday.

He said during their patrol missions the Russian aircraft is accompanied by NATO F-15, F-16 and F-22 fighters. The military alliance's planes do not always comply with the international rules.

"They behave tactlessly, to put it mildly - they approach too close (in breach of international regulations)," the commander said.

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, following an order signed by President Vladimir Putin. The move has been widely seen by the West as a sign of Russia's increasingly aggressive military stance.

Russian bombers have since carried out over 70 strategic patrol flights.

The Air Force command earlier said skilled pilots fly the aircraft in strict compliance with international laws on the use of air space over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states.