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Tu-95 Bear bomber back on patrol

Tu-95 Bear bomber back on patrol

Two Russian air force bombers have been spotted near the U.S. naval base on the island of Guam in the Western Pacific.

Defence officials say the planes were on a long range mission similar to those flown during the Cold War.

The maneuvers of the two TU-95 turboprops over Guam in the Pacific this week have again recalled the cat and mouse games typical of the Cold War era.

American forces responded by scrambling fighter jets to intercept them but the U.S. military says the two planes never got within 500 kilometres of the island. The American and Russian crews reportedly "exchanged smiles and waves".

Back in Moscow, Major General Pavel Androsov says that the country's air force plans to revive the tradition of long-range missions far into the ocean. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these flights were rare due to a lack of finance.

Now, with Russia's economic success and its desire to retrieve the prestige of its armed forces, the situation seems to be changing.

Defence officials say the planes were on a long range mission similar to those flown during the Cold War.

The maneuvers of the two TU-95 turboprops over Guam in the Pacific this week have again recalled the cat and mouse games typical of the Cold War era.

American forces responded by scrambling fighter jets to intercept them but the U.S. military says the two planes never got within 500 kilometres of the island. The American and Russian crews reportedly "exchanged smiles and waves".

Back in Moscow, Major General Pavel Androsov says that the country's air force plans to revive the tradition of long-range missions far into the ocean. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these flights were rare due to a lack of finance.

Now, with Russia's economic success and its desire to retrieve the prestige of its armed forces, the situation seems to be changing.

--------------------------------------------

Russian bombers fly over North Sea

RAF fighter planes have been scrambled to monitor two Russian bombers that flew unusually long sorties.
The Tu-95 bombers stayed in international air space during the flight on Thursday morning and they flew close to the North Sea oil area, where British businesses operate.

Norway also scrambled fighter jets as the bombers passed between Aberdeen and Stavanger.
John Inge Oegland, spokesman for Norway's armed forces, said: "It's a long time since Russian bombers have been that far south. I would say that is rather unusual.

"Since they were so far south, the RAF followed the same procedure and went up to identify them."
The incident was the latest of several sorties in recent days and came at a time of heightened diplomatic tensions between Russia and Britain over Moscow's refusal to extradite murder suspect Andrei Lugovoi.

When Russian military planes approach Norwegian air space, Norway scrambles fighters to meet and follow them, and they followed that procedure on July 17 when two Tu-95 bombers made a similar sortie.

After that incident, Russia's air force commander said the long-range bombers were on a training flight and did not intend to enter British air space.

Norway said it was not unusual for Russian military planes to fly over international waters across the Barents Sea and then either turn south into the Norwegian Sea or continue flying west over the Atlantic, before turning around.
Mr Oegland said the apparent increase in Russian sorties along Norwegian air space follows a major exercise by Russia's Northern Fleet in the Russian Barents Sea.

He added: "In such small exercises, they are not obliged to inform us. We obviously watch it but it hasn't raised any concerns.

"The Norwegian and Russian military have good working relations."

Mr Oegland also revealed Norway scrambled fighters on Thursday to follow two Tu-160 Russian bombers, a more modern jet-engine strategic bomber than the propeller-driven Tu-90, which passed near Norwegian air space in the Barents Sea.

The Tu-160s flew west into the Atlantic, where they were met by two tankers for air-to-air refuelling, before heading back to Russia. Source : ITN / Independent Television News (Posted : 20 Jul 2007)

--------------------------------------------

Posted : August 10, 2007

Source : ITN / Independent Television News - russiatoday.ru

Photo : An F-15 Eagle from the 12th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, flies next to a Russian Tu-95 Bear Bomber Sept. 28 during a Russian exercise near the west coast of Alaska. (U.S. Air Force photo) [af.mil photo]


(8/13/2007)


 
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