Two Russian long-range bombers were intercepted off the coast of Alaska on Friday by two F-22 Raptor fighters, the US military said.
The Tu-95 bombers flew into the air defense zone in the Bering Sea north of the Aleutians, where they were visually identified and shadowed by US jets at 10 am, Navy Capt. Scott Miller, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command
The bombers did not come to North America's Sovereign Airspace, he said in a statement. Miller declined to say how close the bombers came to the American country. Fox News reported that it flew only 55 miles off the west coast of Alaska.
The encounter on Friday was the first of its kind in just over a year, Miller said. A similar incident occurred off the waters of Alaska in April 201
The identification zone extends some 200 miles off the coast of Alaska and is primarily international airspace Miller said, although Russian military activity will often prompt a substantive response from US fighter jets. Sections of the zone occurred about 60 times between 2007 and 2017 The New York Times reported last year.
Miller said the Russian bombers are decades-old aircraft that have been classified by NATO as "bears" flying in accordance with international standards. The planes are capable of carrying atomic bombs, but it is unclear what weapons they had on board, if at all.
A statement released by the Russian Ministry of Defense on Friday deviated from the US military record. He said the bombers were escorted by fighter jets and a reconnaissance jet that also functions as an anti-submarine platform.
Miller said that was not true.
"This was a safe section that contained no Russian reconnaissance aircraft, and no Russian fighters were present," he said the Washington Post on Saturday.
It was not clear if the Russian air operation was an opportunity for real training or if it was in response to US and NATO military deployments elsewhere. Earlier this month, Russia shook four jet fighters four times in response to foreign reconnaissance flights near its border, Russian intelligence agency Interfax reported.
Aircraft interceptions, fly-bys and shadings have intensified in recent years after the Russian military action and occupation of the Crimea. Parts of eastern Ukraine begin in 2014.
Earlier in the month, a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter plane flew around 20 feet of a US P-8 surveillance plane across the Baltic Sea – a tiny distance, considering that the plane is moving by the hundreds of miles per hour – in an incident called the US military safe, but unprofessional.
The incident on Friday was relatively routine, but more aggressive maneuvers have alarmed defense officials and diplomats who said the encounters could eventually lead to collisions or misjudgments Shoot-down
A report by the European Leadership Network, a think tank from London, released in 2014, has documented nearly 40 incidents "to a highly troubling picture of national airspace violations, emergency scrambles, barely avoided airborne collisions, close encounters at sea, simulated attack runs and other dangerous actions regularly take place in a very large geographical area. " The report was created for 2014 only and not for the following years.
Information for this article was provided by Rick Noack of the Washington Post.
A Section on 13/05/2018
Headline: US two Russian bombers attack