The crews of Tu-160 and Il-78 long-range aircraft of the Aerospace Forces (VKS) have worked out the most difficult element of flight training — night refueling in the air.
The flights took place in difficult weather conditions with a strong crosswind.
Only experienced crews were involved in the flight shift, and they performed two refueling operations during the many-hour flight.
More than five aircraft units were involved in the flights. Refueling was carried out at night at altitudes of more than 5 thousand meters and a speed of about 600 kilometers per hour using additional lighting installed on both the tanker aircraft and the refueling aircraft. At the same time, the distance between the planes was less than 30 meters.
Practising of these air elements is one of the most complex and at the same time necessary in the flight training of long-range aviation crews, allowing them to significantly increase the combat range and perform tasks for their intended purpose at a great distance from their bases.