3 pilots died in an incident with the Russian Aerospace Forces’ Tu-22M3 long-range bomber at a military airfield near Kaluga on March 23.
The Defense Ministry reported that the Tu-22M3 bomber abnormally triggered a catapult on the ground causing the death of the crew members. The emergency occurred during the planned preparation for the flight.
“Due to the insufficient height to deploy the parachutes, three crew members received injuries incompatible with life upon landing,” the Defense Ministry said.
The Tu-22M3 is a modernized version of the Soviet Tu-22M2, a strategic multi-mode supersonic bomber designed to engage targets on enemy territory. The warplane can reach a maximum speed of up to 2300 kilometers per hour. Russia has about 60 such aircraft in service.
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