Russian bombers buzz US/Canadian coastline

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Russian bombers buzz US/Canadian coastline

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-01-27 11:49am

Japan Times
U.S. and Canadian fighters scrambled after Russian bombers buzz North American coastline
BY JESSE JOHNSON
STAFF WRITER

JAN 27, 2019
ARTICLE HISTORY PRINT SHARE
The U.S. military has said that American and Canadian fighter jets were scrambled after two nuclear-capable Russian heavy bombers entered Canada’s air defense identification zone on Saturday in the Arctic region near the North American coastline.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command said that two U.S. F-22 fighter jets, an E-3 early warning aircraft and two Canadian CF-18 fighters had identified and escorted two Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers after they entered an area patrolled by the Royal Canadian Air Force on Saturday morning.

The Tu-160s remained in international space and did not enter Canadian or U.S. territory, the statement said, and there were no reports of conflict between the Russian and the U.S. and Canadian aircraft.

The Russian bombers’ flight was the first known this year, but a similar scenario played out last year, when Russian bombers escorted by fighter jets flew near Alaska on Sept. 11 before the U.S. intercepted them with F-22s.

NORAD says it uses radar, satellites and fighter aircraft to patrol the skies and monitor aircraft entering U.S. or Canadian airspace.

“NORAD’s top priority is defending Canada and the United States. Our ability to protect our nations starts with successfully detecting, tracking, and positively identifying aircraft of interest approaching U.S. and Canadian airspace,” NORAD head Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy said in the statement.

Saturday’s incident also came after a Russian Tupolev Tu-22 bomber crashed in the country’s northwestern Murmansk region, according to media reports.

The accident occurred last week, as the long-range bomber was attempting to land, according to Russian state news agency TASS, citing law enforcement officials.

The warplane had four crew members onboard, and two were killed, TASS reported.

The Tupolev Tu-22 is a supersonic long-range bomber that entered service in Russia during the 1980s.
So, what is Putin trying to do here, aside from showing his populace that he can ring America's doorbell and run away?
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Re: Russian bombers buzz US/Canadian coastline

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-01-27 12:19pm

Russians have been doing that for years, both during and after the Cold War, especially over the Arctic Circle, as a way of flexing their muscle. First time I've heard them doing with a Blackjack, though.
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Re: Russian bombers buzz US/Canadian coastline

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-01-27 03:04pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2019-01-27 12:19pm
Russians have been doing that for years, both during and after the Cold War, especially over the Arctic Circle, as a way of flexing their muscle. First time I've heard them doing with a Blackjack, though.
They do these patrols once every year or every two years. I found reports from 2008 and 2010. The route can change a bit (it often included Venezuela after Chavez came to power, for example), but generally these are routine things.
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Re: Russian bombers buzz US/Canadian coastline

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2019-01-27 07:34pm

This has actually happened quite a few times. IIRC some of the pilots get lost once in a while.

One of the (very few) times I can say it's not much to worry about.
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Re: Russian bombers buzz US/Canadian coastline

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-01-27 08:17pm

Usually, it's Bears that do this sort of thing. So I thought.
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Re: Russian bombers buzz US/Canadian coastline

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2019-01-28 01:16am

The bears and blackjacks both fly patrols around North America and Europe, the Bears do come closer to the US more often, but largely just because they are several times more common in the Red Air Force and longer ranged out of hand. Tactically it makes little difference since both aircraft pretty completely rely on the Kh-55+ series of very long range subsonic cruise missiles as nukes. Which means they don't actually have to come anywhere remotely near the target to attack. Russians stop fielding the supersonic missiles that were originally part of the Tu-160 armament, they all time expired, and never viewed it was a gravity bomb platform as it has no significant low level capability unlike all the US nuke bombers.

Tu-95 is basically the more logical plane at this point, but it's long out of production so Russia is just ultra slowly building new Blackjacks while working on a new purely subsonic bomber.

The bomber flights near the US and NATO stopped (as did basically all long range flying over water by these planes) between about 1992 and 2007 but Putin resumed them long before the serious renewal of NATO-Russian tensions. This largely stopped because Russia was so absurdly out of money the moment the USSR collapsed, and many spare parts for the aircraft were produced in what is now the Ukraine. In fact a lot of the bombers and missiles themselves were in Ukrainian hands until being gradually traded back in exchange for natural gas supplies around IIRC 1999, though others ended up scrapped with US aid money to make sure all the important bits got extra special smashed.
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