Skip to comments.Russian bombers intercepted near US Navy vessel (Tupolev 95 flew 2000ft directly over USS Nimitz)
Posted on 02/11/2008 3:45:40 PM PST by FlaviusEdited on 02/11/2008 4:36:47 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
Russian bomber aircraft approached a US Aircraft carrier in the Pacific on Saturday and were intercepted by American fighter jets, a US Defense official said on Monday...
Excerpt. Story continues: YNetNews
Navy Intercepts Russian Bombers
By LOLITA C. BALDOR – 1 hour ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. fighter planes intercepted two Russian bombers, including one that buzzed an American aircraft carrier in the western Pacific during the weekend, The Associated Press has learned.
A U.S. military official says that one Russian Tupolev 95 flew directly over the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz twice, at a low altitude of about 2,000 feet, while another bomber circled about 58 miles out. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity because the reports on the flights were classified as secret.
The Saturday incident, which never escalated beyond the flyover, comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and Russia over U.S. plans for a missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Such Russian bomber flights were common during the Cold War, but have been rare since.
The bombers were among four Russian Tupolev 95s launched from Ukrainka in the middle of the night, including one that Japanese officials say violated their country's airspace over an uninhabited island south of Tokyo.
U.S. officials tracked and monitored the bombers as two flew south along the Japanese coast, and two others flew farther east, coming closer to the Nimitz and the guided missile cruiser USS Princeton.
As the bombers got about 500 miles out from the U.S. ships, four F/A-18 fighters were launched from the Nimitz, the official said. The fighters intercepted the Russian bombers about 50 miles south of the Nimitz.
At least two U.S. F/A-18 Hornets trailed the bomber as it came in low over the Nimitz twice, while one or two of the other U.S. fighters followed the second bomber as it circled.
The official said there were no verbal communications between the U.S. and the Russians, and the Pentagon has not heard of any protests being filed by the United States. Historically, diplomatic protests were not filed in such incidents because they were so common during the Cold War era.
This is the first time Russian Tupolevs have flown over or interacted with a U.S. carrier since 2004.
In that incident, a Russian Tupolev flew over the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk in the Sea of Japan on Jan. 29, 2004. Since then, however, relations between the U.S. and Russia have deteriorated to their worst point since the Cold War, largely due to the United States' plans to put a radar system in the Czech Republic and 10 missile defense interceptors in Poland.
The U.S. has defended the plan as necessary to protect its European allies from possible attacks by Iran. But the Kremlin has condemned the proposal, saying it would threaten Russia's security.
"We are being forced to take retaliatory steps," said Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also warned that a new arms race is under way.
Japan, meanwhile, filed a formal protest with the Russian Embassy in Tokyo after Saturday's incident, saying that one of the Russian bombers crossed into Japanese airspace for three minutes. Russia has denied there was an intrusion.
Look at it this way: Russia needs to train a few flight crews for long-distance missions since they have been kind of letting that slide in recent years.
gee...that’s a whole lot’s of “OOPs” going on lately...
I smell bear sh!t.....
Didn’t they just buzz Japan? Look forward for everyone to test the new admin with a spy plane incident or something like we had with China in 2000. Just to get a feel for things.
Standard cold war operating procedure. The next step is trailing tattle-tails.
Time of response. Probe, test, observe.
Time to put the blackbirds back in the sky?
This was already confirmed by the Russians over the weekend in the article about the Japan incident (same flight).
Things like this make McCain look a whole lot better than Hillary or Obama.
Nope, time to put the scramjets into the sky.
Russians flying quad turboprop targets.
should have never grounded them ...