On September 29, 2006 Russian strategic bombers conducted four test launches of cruise missiles at the Pem-boy test range (also known as Khalmer-Yu, after a former settlement there) near Vorkuta. The launches were part of a large-scale exercise of the strategic aviation. The exercise was reported to take place from 26 to 30 September 2006 and involve more than 50 bombers of the Tu-160, Tu-95MS, and Tu-22M3 type.

Two groups of strategic bombers were reported to take part in today's launches, both of them included Tu-160 and Tu-95MS aircraft based in Engels. The first group was reported to leave the base at 4:00 MSK, the second one - at 7:00 MSK.

General Khvorov, the Commander of the 37th Air Army, was quoted as saying that two of the four cruise missiles hit their targets and the other two "successfully reached the target trajectories". It is not clear if this means that missiles in these two launches failed to reach their intended targets.

UPDATE 09/30/06: NORAD Intercepts Russian Aircraft.

UPDATE 10/24/06: The VPK newspaper reports that only three cruise missiles were launched during the exercise.