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Thread: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Quote Originally Posted by MinutemanCO View Post
    Aren't the Russians masters of deception? If they are showing their hand in one form of tactical strike, wouldn't it be possible their primary intent is somewhere else?
    I suspect their real objective would be a strategic strike at the US and NATO in general, yes.

    My point is that sending in a couple of bombers with refueling craft is "normal" for everyone, just not normally done in a "real world test" like they've been known to do. Over the years, it was rare to find refueling aircraft, and even rarer to have MIG escorts.

    In today's world... that would seem to be "a norm" and I'm surprised we and they don't do it all the time anyway.

    Also.... sending ONE flight in isn't much of a diversion.

    Sending a LOT of planes however signals something bigger that we can imagine.
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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Gotcha.

    My concern is that while the Bears fly over the arctic to mess with our defensive readiness paradigm, boomers could be inching their way closer to US territorial waters. Or perhaps said flights are diversion for internal covert forces planting tactical nukes. I have no way of knowing other than pure speculation using extant data.

    It is interesting how Russia seems to be opting for Soviet era tactics/patterns. Putin may be going with his best pitch. He's always been a mainline Soviet agent.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Quote Originally Posted by MinutemanCO View Post
    Gotcha.

    My concern is that while the Bears fly over the arctic to mess with our defensive readiness paradigm, boomers could be inching their way closer to US territorial waters. Or perhaps said flights are diversion for internal covert forces planting tactical nukes. I have no way of knowing other than pure speculation using extant data.

    It is interesting how Russia seems to be opting for Soviet era tactics/patterns. Putin may be going with his best pitch. He's always been a mainline Soviet agent.
    My concern too. The boomers are there. They ain't "inching". They are there.

    You see...

    Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a superabundance of strength.

    The general who is skilled in defense hides in the most secret recesses of the earth; he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven.

    Sun Tzu, the Art of War.... The first part of each sentence is the US, standing on DEFENSIVE strength, hiding.

    The second part of each sentence is Russia hiding his intent and then striking from on high.... While we're worried about a few sorties of Russian bombers, refuelers and cover aircraft, they hit us with the big crap.
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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Unfortunate, but a good description of our condition now.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties


    U.S., Allies Scramble Jets Almost Daily To Repel Russian Incursions

    October 23, 2014

    Russian military provocations have increased so much over the seven months since Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine that Washington and its allies are scrambling defense assets on a nearly daily basis in response to air, sea and land incursions by Vladimir Putin’s forces.

    Not only is Moscow continuing to foment unrest in Eastern Ukraine, U.S. officials and regional security experts say Russian fighter jets are testing U.S. reaction times over Alaska and Japan’s ability to scramble planes over its northern islands — all while haunting Sweden’s navy and antagonizing Estonia’s tiny national security force.

    The White House months ago leveled economic sanctions on several Russian businesses and political players, and recent weeks have seen President Obama intensify his rhetoric toward Moscow. But many in Washington’s national security community say the response is simply not firm enough and that, as a result, Mr. Putin actually feels emboldened to push the envelope — Cold War-style.

    “What’s going on is a radical escalation of aggressive Russian muscle flexing and posturing designed to demonstrate that Russia is no longer a defeated power of the Cold War era,” says Ariel Cohen, who heads the Center for Energy, National Resources and Geopolitics at the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in Washington.

    “The more we retreat, the more we are encouraging Russia to behave in a more aggressive way,” Mr. Cohen said. “We need to be engaging more deeply with our Central Asian allies, but instead we are in the process of abandoning turf to Russia, and it’s wrong — it’s against our interests geopolitically to let Russia feel that they all of a sudden have won all the turf without firing a shot.”

    The Obama administration resists such characterizations, asserting that the White House is doing anything but “retreating.”

    To the contrary, administration officials say they’re bolstering U.S. support to NATO and several non-NATO Baltic states specifically to confront Mr. Putin. They also assert that the current economic downturn inside Russia — where inflation is reported to have crested to 8 percent in recent weeks — is driven as much by a dip in global oil prices as by the slate of sanctions leveled by the White House in response to Russian meddling in Ukraine.

    For his own part, Mr. Obama stopped short of directly addressing the uptick in Russian military maneuvering during a major U.N. speech last month. The president did, however, assert that “Russian aggression in Europe recalls the days when large nations trampled small ones.”

    He also threatened to “impose a cost on Russia for aggression.”

    Mr. Obama’s comments were followed this month by the deployment of some 20 M1A1 Abrams battle tanks and roughly 700 U.S. troops across Poland and three Baltic States — Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — a move military officials said was designed to send a message that serious Russian aggression in the area could mean war with NATO.

    But Mr. Putin has appeared undeterred. NATO officials confirmed this week that the Russian air force flew an Ilyushin-20 spy plane into Estonian airspace Tuesday, triggering a swift reaction from NATO fighter jets patrolling the area.

    The incursion came just days after Sweden made international headlines by scrambling a fleet of naval vessels to search for a suspected submarine sighted about 30 miles off the coast of Stockholm in the Baltic Sea.

    Swedish authorities avoided pinning the incident directly on Russia, and Moscow denied involvement. But regional analysts like Mr. Cohen say they’d be surprised if the sub was not Russian.

    The development, the analysts say, fits within a growing list of similar Russian actions, including some directly challenging U.S. territory.

    The North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled jets to scare off two Russian strategic bombers that suddenly appeared to conduct practice runs in airspace just 65 miles off Alaska in June. A similar incident occurred in September, with U.S. and Canadian fighters scrambling to deter six Russian aircraft, including two nuclear bombers, two fighter jets and two refueling tankers, according to news reports.

    Around the same time, Russian ground forces were making the unprecedented move of arresting an Estonian security official at gunpoint near the Baltic nation’s border with Russia. The official is reportedly now in Moscow facing espionage charges.

    More worrisome are reports that Japan has had to scramble fighter jets to ward off Russian bombers and spy planes twice as often as usual over the past six months. Japanese government figures released this week show flights dispatched to meet Russian aircraft in the latest six months soared to 324 from 136 over the preceding six months, according to a report by Reuters.

    Steve Ganyard, the president of Avascent International, a global security consulting firm in Washington, says Russia’s moves reflect Mr. Putin’s desire to bring about a new era of cat and mouse-style games that were “prevalent in the Cold War.”

    Tuesday’s Estonia incursion, for instance, was “quite deliberate,” said Mr. Ganyard, a former Marine Corps fighter pilot who has also held past posts at the Pentagon and State Department.

    Mr. Putin is engaged in a ploy to garner international recognition as a way to reassure Russian citizens that their nation remains a formidable military power, he said.

    “Military has its own appeal to nationalism, and that is what helps him keep [his] power and keep his approval ratings so high,” he said.

    “Putin knows how to play domestic politics,” Mr. Ganyard added. “Right now, one of his platforms is to return Russia to its glory, and part of that means its military glory” by bolstering the “myth of the Red Army saving the motherland.”

    In February, Mr. Putin’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, made headlines by claiming the Russian military was engaged in talks with Algeria, Cyprus, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, Seychelles, Vietnam and Singapore — and that the Russian navy was seeking permission to use ports in Latin America and Asia.

    Such claims are in keeping with “a Russian narrative of a more assertive and powerful country,” said William Pomeranz, a national security analyst at the Wilson International Center for Scholars and Russian law professor at Georgetown University.

    Mr. Pomeranz said that while the past decade saw Mr. Putin build a reputation as a “relatively conservative international player,” the Ukraine crisis has pushed the Russian president into a kind of “corner,” creating internal pressure on him to make a show of force to the world.

    The crisis began in early 2014 when, in the aftermath of a revolution that forced former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country, pro-Russian forces took control of the Crimean Peninsula. The takeover caused an uproar in Ukraine, and Mr. Putin responded by sending thousands of military troops to the Russian border with the nation.

    Mr. Pomeranz said the massing of troops and the “rubbing up” against U.S. and NATO airspace by Moscow are designed to show the Russian military has advanced since its last major international feud — with nearby Georgia in 2008.

    “I don’t know whether Putin wanted to reveal that now or if he wanted to, in fact, increase his capability before he showed what Russia was up to,” he said. “But now Europe sees and understands Russia’s capabilities and intentions and, as a result, is reconsidering its commitments and the resources of NATO as well.”

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    I would like to think that alot of these incursions recently have been met with other aircraft the Russians couldn't see or hear. Their only indication is they all the sudden had this creepy feeling that wouldn't go away. I would like to think we got so close we took pictures of the pilots and sent them to them in their emails before they landed back home.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    NATO intercepted 19, NINETEEN, jets over Europe. The jets had turned off their responders.
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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...sian-warplanes

    Nato jets intercept Russian warplanes following 'unusual level of air activity'

    Bombers and fighters shadowed during unusual burst of flights over Atlantic, North Sea, Baltic and Black Sea, says alliance





    A Norwegian F-16 shadows a Russian air force Tupolev Tu-95 in a photograph released by the Norwegian air force. Photograph: Norwegian air force/EPA
    Staff and agencies








    Nato aircraft have been scrambled to shadow Russian strategic bombers over the Atlantic and Black Sea and fighter planes over the Baltic in what the western alliance called an unusual burst of activity as tensions remain elevated because of the situation in Ukraine.


    In all, Nato said, its jets intercepted four groups of Russian aircraft in about 24 hours since Tuesday and some were still on manoeuvres late on Wednesday afternoon.


    “These sizeable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European air space,” the alliance said.


    A spokesman stressed there had been no violation of Nato air space, unlike a week earlier when a Russian spy plane briefly crossed Estonia’s border. But so many sorties in one day was unusual compared with recent years.


    In the biggest exercise four Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers, the 1950s equivalent of the US B-52, flew out over the Norwegian Sea in the early hours of Wednesday, accompanied by four refuelling tanker aircraft.


    Norwegian F-16s tracked the formation, which eventually broke up, with six planes heading back toward Russia and two Tu-95s flying on south over the North Sea where they were intercepted by British Typhoons. Portuguese F-16s later tracked them in the Atlantic before they turned for home.


    A Norwegian military spokesman said: “We see Russian aircraft near our air space on a regular basis but what was unusual is that it was a large number of aircraft and pushed further south than we normally see.”


    In a second incident two Tu-95s accompanied by two fighter jets were being tracked by Turkish aircraft over the Black Sea on Wednesday afternoon, while flights of seven Russian warplanes were monitored on Tuesday and Wednesday over the Baltic Sea.


    On Tuesday German and Danish planes were involved in tracking them as well as aircraft from non-Nato states Sweden and Finland. On Wednesday Portuguese F-16s posted in the Baltic intercepted a similar group of fighters and fighter-bombers.


    Separately, British jets intercepted a Russian-built Antonov cargo plane that was carrying car parts from Latvia to Birmingham after air traffic controllers became concerned. The plane was diverted to Stansted airport and later cleared to continue its flight.


    Nato said it had conducted more than 100 such intercepts of Russian aircraft this year so far, about three times as many as in 2013 before the confrontation with Moscow over separatist revolts in Ukraine soured relations.


    President Vladimir Putin has committed to reinvigorating Russia’s armed forces, which had been undermined by the economic troubles that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Tension over Ukraine has seen Nato step up its vigilance, especially on its eastern frontiers with Russia.


    The spokesman said there was no particular reason for concern over Russian warplanes exercising their right to fly in international air space but that such sorties were shadowed by Nato aircraft as a precaution and to protect civil air traffic.
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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Here Are The 'Complex' Russian Air Incursions That NATO Is So Concerned About






    • Nov. 3, 2014, 12:00 PM








    Handout ./REUTERSA Russian TU-95 bomber


    Tensions between Russia and the West have been steadily growing over the past few months, as there has been a sharp uptick in Russian bombers and fighters flying missions over Europe. This increase in activity has taken place against the backdrop of a frozen conflict in Ukraine, which has already pitted Russia and the West against each other.


    This rise in tensions, summarized succinctly in a recent brazenly anti-Western Putin speech, has led to Russian aerial incursions being viewed with increased hesitance.
    "What is significant is that across history, most of these incursions have been very small groups of airplanes, sometimes singletons or at most two aircraft," the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, said at a Pentagon briefing.


    "What you saw this past week was a larger, more complex formation of aircraft carrying out a little deeper, and I would say a little bit more provocative, flight path."


    We have listed below some of the most notable instances of provocative Russian aircraft exercises over the US and US allied territory since March 2013.


    March 29, 2013 — Sweden

    via The Aviationist
    A Russian Tu-22 bomber


    Russian military aircraft simulated a large scale bombing run over Stockholm, Sweden. Two Tu-22M3 Backfire heavy bombers, which can carry cruise missiles and nuclear weapons, and four Su-27 Flanker fighter jets flew within 30 to 40 kilometers of Swedish territorial waters before returning to Russia.


    February 24, 2014 — Estonia
    On February 24, Estonia's independence day, US F-15Cs intercepted a Russian spy plane. The F-15Cs were in Estonia as part of the NATO rotational force that helps to police the Baltic states' airspace.


    May 2014 — California and Guam
    In a seeming return to Cold War tensions, Russia increased its aerial activity throughout the Pacific. US fighter jets intercepted Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers over Guam and over the Pacific west of the California coast.


    June 2014 — Alaska and California


    RAF/Crown CopyrightA Russian Tu-95 bomber after being intercepted by the British RAF


    In the beginning of June, four Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers triggered US air defense systems in Alaska and California. Two of the bombers returned to Russia after being intercepted over the Aleutian islands, while the other two continued to within 50 miles off of the north Californian coast.


    June 2014 — Denmark
    Russia carried out a simulated attack of the Danish island of Bornholm while the island hosted 90,000 guests in a political festival that drew attendees from ranging from politicians to journalists and activists. The Russian planes were equipped with live missiles, and was the most overtly offensive Russian simulated strike against Denmark since the Cold War.


    August 2014 — US
    During a ten day period from the end of July into the beginning of August, Russian strategic nuclear bombers carried out at least 16 incursions into US air defense zones in the northwest of the country. The Russian planes included Tu-95 heavy bombers and intelligence aircraft.



    September 2014 — US
    Sergei Karpukhin/ReutersA Russian officer takes a picture of a Tu-95 bomber, or "Bear," at a military airbase in Engels, some 900 km (559 miles) south of Moscow, August 7, 2008.



    Two Russian strategic bombers carried out simulated cruise missile strikes against the US during a NATO summit in Wales. The Tu-95s flew to an optimum site for launching the missiles in Canada's north east. US fighters were not scrambled to respond to the threat, as the Russian aircraft stayed out of the North American Air Defense Identification Zone.


    October 2014 — Japan
    From May 2014 to October 2014, Japan more than doubled the number of times it scrambled aircraft against Russian aircraft. The Japanese aircraft intercepted a mixture of Russian spy planes and bombers, and focused around a ring of contested islands to the north of Japan.


    October 21, 2014 — Estonia
    Kirill Naumenko/Wikimedia CommonsA Russian Air Force Ilyushin-20.
    A Russian spy plane violated Estonia's airspace. The Russian Ilyushin-20 flew for about a minute in Estonian airspace before being intercepted by fighters from Denmark, Portugal, and Sweden.
    October 28, 2014 — Baltic Sea
    Seven Russian combat aircraft flew over international airspace in the Baltic Sea. German Typhoon fighters intercepted the Russians over the Gulf of Finland. The Russian aircraft did not change course, and were also intercepted by Danish, Swedish, and Finnish forces before they landed in the Russian province of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea.
    October 29, 2014 — Baltic Sea, Black Sea, North Sea, and Atlantic Ocean
    The AviationistPortuguese planes carried out an intercept of Russian bombers
    Portuguese fighter jets intercepted seven Russian jets over the Baltic Sea. Simultaneously, Turkish fighters were scrambled to intercept two Russian bombers and two fighters over the Black Sea.
    The English RAF also intercepted eight Russian aircraft over the North Sea. After the interception, the formation split, with the fighters and a tanker returning to Russia while two bombers continued towards the Atlantic. The bombers were later intercepted again by the Portuguese over the Atlantic.
    SEE ALSO: NATO intercepted 26 Russian aircraft in two days
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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    NATO commander: Russia's incursions in European airspace 'more provocative'

    WASHINGTON Mon Nov 3, 2014 12:12pm EST

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    NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander of the U.S. European Command General Philip Breedlove listens to a question during a news conference at the National Defence headquarters in Ottawa May 6, 2014.
    Credit: Reuters/Chris Wattie







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    (Reuters) - NATO's top military commander said on Monday that recent incursions into European airspace by Russian fighters and long-range bombers included larger, more complex formations of aircraft flying more "provocative" routes than usual.
    U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, the supreme allied commander in Europe, said NATO allies had not directly discussed the flights with Russian leaders because incursions are fairly common and are not generally talked about as long as they are professionally and safely handled.
    "What is significant is that across history, most of these incursions have been very small groups of airplanes, sometimes singletons or at most two aircraft," Breedlove, who is also the head of U.S. European Command, told a Pentagon briefing.
    "What you saw this past week was a larger, more complex formation of aircraft carrying out a little deeper, and I would say a little bit more provocative flight path."
    The Russian flights follow months of increasing tensions over Ukraine, where Moscow earlier this year seized and annexed the Crimean Peninsula and has supported armed separatists opposed to the Kiev government.
    Most of the Russian flights have been in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, North Sea and Atlantic Ocean, a U.S. military official said. The flights have been unannounced with no flight plans filed, even though Russia has agreed to do so under civil aviation agreements, the official added.
    NATO jets have usually intercepted the Russian aircraft between Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea, and the Russian mainland, the official said.
    Breedlove described the flights as "problematic" and a "concern," saying they did not "contribute to a secure and stable situation."
    But he said the flights had been handled in a professional manner by the pilots involved, with NATO fliers intercepting the Russian fighter jets, long-range bombers and tanker aircraft and escorting them while they were in European airspace.
    Breedlove said while he had not discussed the flights with his Russian counterparts, "my opinion is that they are messaging us," trying to underscore "that they are a great power."
    The NATO commander also said the alliance and Russia had a mechanism for dealing with any incursions that involve reckless flying or other unprofessional behavior.
    "If they're dangerously close, if the maneuvers are not correct, there are mechanisms by which we address those," Breedlove said. "But if the flight occurs in the airspace that these flights occurred in, and they are conducted professionally ... then we do not routinely talk about them."
    The NATO commander expressed concern about a "revanchist Russia," and the "unwelcome return of nations using force to coerce neighboring states in Europe."
    He said he was looking for an increase in the rotational presence of U.S. air and ground forces in Eastern Europe to train and interact with partners and allies.
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  11. #131
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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Even the Portuguese Air Force has intercepted and photographed Russian bombers wandering across Europe

    Nov 02 2014 - 26 Comments
    By David Cenciotti
    The two Russian Bears that skirted European airspaces on Friday were also intercepted by the F-16s of the Portuguese Air Force.

    On Oct. 31, two F-16 Fighting Falcon jets of the FAP (Portuguese Air Force) were scrambled to intercept two Russian Air Force Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers.
    The Russian planes were detected by Portugal’s Air Defense System (DA) as they approached the nortwestern part of Portugal’s FIR flying southbound, not in contact with any Air Traffic Control agency.
    The two F-16s on permanent alert at Monte Real Air Base were launched to perform a visual identification of the two “intruders”.
    The QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) fighter jets performed a very similar mission to that they had flown on Oct. 29; however, this time the intercepted aircraft kept heading toward the south until they turned north.
    The two Portuguese interceptors escorted the Bears until they departed the airspace of Portugal’s responsibility.
    Another pair of F-16s was readied for take off just in case the Russian aircraft reversed their northboud route.
    H/T Armando “Squid” Leitao for the heads-up

    Image credit: Portuguese Air Force
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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties


    Russian Nuclear Bombers Again Buzz Guam

    Earlier aircraft incursions near Alaska and Europe

    December 19, 2014
    By Bill Gertz

    Russian strategic bombers conducted a third circumnavigation of the U.S. Pacific island of Guam last week as other bombers flew close to Alaska and Europe, defense officials said.

    Two Tu-95 Bear H bombers made the flight around Guam, a key U.S. military hub in the western Pacific, on Dec. 13. No U.S. interceptor jets were dispatched to shadow the bombers.

    Separately, two Canadian F-18s intercepted two Bear bombers that intruded into the Alaska air defense identification zone on Dec. 8 that a military spokesman called “unwanted, provocative, and potentially destabilizing.”

    Around the same time in Europe, NATO jets intercepted Russian Tu-95 and Tu-22 Backfire bombers also conducting provocative flights.

    Russian warplanes, including four Bear Hs and two Tu-22M Backfire bombers were shadowed as they flew simulated bombing runs from bases in Russia to the Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad for four days beginning on Dec. 7.

    Regarding the Guam air defense zone incursions, “U.S. Pacific Command can confirm that two aircraft entered Guam’s outer air defense identification zone on Dec. 13,” said Maj. Dave Washburn, a command spokesman.

    “The aircraft were flying safely in international airspace and in accordance with international norms; as such, the decision was made to not intercept them.”

    It was the second time in a month that nuclear-capable Russian bombers buzzed the island in what U.S. officials have said is nuclear saber-rattling by Russia under its strongman Vladimir Putin.

    Earlier Russian bomber flights around the 36-mile-long island took place in November and on Feb. 12, 2013. During the 2013 incursion, F-15 jets were scrambled to intercept the part of bombers.

    Both earlier flights were timed to political events, including President Obama’s meeting with Putin in Australia and the president’s state of the union message in 2013.

    The latest bomber flights near Guam appear timed to the Obama administration’s plan for imposing additional economic sanctions on Russia for its military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and continuing destabilization operations in eastern Ukraine.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Secretary of State John Kerry during a phone call Friday that new U.S. sanctions will damage U.S.-Russia relations.

    In the Alaska incident, two bombers were flying northwest of Anchorage and into the Beaufort Sea off of the Canadian coast, said Navy Capt. Jeff A. Davis, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.

    Davis said the Russian bombers entered both the Alaska air defense identification zone and the Canadian air defense identification zone, but did not enter sovereign U.S. or Canadian airspace.

    “While we recognize the need for routine military training activity, we have noticed an increase in the number of these flights near North America in recent months since Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and Crimea,” Davis said.

    Foreign aircraft are not required to file flight plans in advance of flights through defense zone, however, “such unannounced operations by strategic bombers near the U.S. and Canada are unwanted, provocative, and potentially destabilizing,” he stated.

    Davis said Russian long-range bomber flights around North America “largely ceased” after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

    “But they restarted in 2007,” he said. “Since 2007, Norad fighters have conducted intercepts about five times per year of Russian long-range bombers in the U.S. or Canadian air defense identification zones.”

    Shirley A. Kan, a Congressional Research Service analyst, stated in a report made public Nov. 27 that Guam is a key element in the Obama administration’s shift to Asia.

    “Guam is critical to enhancing the forward presence, strengthening alliances, and shaping China’s rise,” Kan stated.

    The U.S. territory is about 3,800 miles west of Hawaii and includes 160,000 people including 6,000 military personnel.

    The Pacific Command beginning in 2000 started “to build up air and naval forces on Guam to boost U.S. deterrence and power projection in Asia,” Kan said.

    The U.S. Army deployed its newest missile defenses to Guam last year. The terminal high-altitude area defense battery, or THAAD, is based on Andersen Air Force Base.

    The Navy also has deployed three attack submarines on Guam.

    The island is also a major electronic intelligence-gathering base.

    Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said during a visit to the island in August that “Guam has always been a central part of our plans” for shifting military forces to the region.

    The Air Force frequently deploys both B-2 and B-52 strategic bombers and fighter aircraft, along with long-range Global Hawk drones.

    Around 5,000 Marines now based on Okinawa are slated to be moved to Guam.

    THAAD is a land-based element that can shoot down a ballistic missile inside and just outside the atmosphere. It uses hit-to-kill technology: Kinetic rather than explosive energy destroys the incoming warhead.

    Bear H bombers are relatively old aircraft. They carry Kh-55SM cruise missiles armed with nuclear or conventional warheads. The missile has a range of up to 1,800 miles.

    The Russian flights over the Baltic “represented a significant level of activity by Russia,” NATO Spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told Agence France Presse.

    “Such activity can be destabilizing and potentially dangerous, if international norms are not respected,” Lungescu said.

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said alliance jets conducted about 400 intercepts of Russian aircraft this year, a 50 percent increase over last year.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties


    Russian Bombers Force Passenger Planes To Change Course In Irish Airspace

    March 6, 2015

    Two Russian Tupolev Tu-95 bombers caused chaos when they entered Irish airspace in February, a new report by the Irish Examiner reveals. One passenger plane traveling from the US had to be diverted and another commercial aircraft was grounded in Dublin until the skies were safe again.

    The planes’ transponders, which alert air towers to their presence and coordinates, were switched off. The bombers first flew through Norwegian airspace, where they were detected, and then progressed along the Hebrides towards Irish airspace. They flew at 27,000 feet along Ireland’s eastern, southern and western coasts, coming as close as 25 miles, and then doubled back towards Britain, at which point they were intercepted by British RAF jets.

    Details were hazy when news first broke of the incident, but the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) revealed to the Irish Examiner newspaper that the Russian places had posed a collision risk for civilian planes traveling in Irish airspace.

    The IAA statement to the Examiner confirmed “the Russian military aircraft did not have their transponders switched on at the time” and that, per the advice of the RAF, “one aircraft’s departure from Dublin was delayed” to ensure it did not fly into the path of the Tu-95s.

    The IAA also confirmed that “as a precautionary measure to ensure safety was maintained, the routing of one en route aircraft was changed to ensure that its track was sufficiently separated from the track of the two Russian military aircraft.” It is now understood that this plane was a passenger jet flying from North America.

    Following a similar earlier incident where a Russian aircraft carrying a nuclear weapon (which was not live) flew into Irish airspace, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs had requested assurance from the Russian ambassador that Russian military planes would not fly into Irish airspace without prior notice or with transponders shut off. The second breech of airspace happened after this.

    Irish Minister for Defense Simon Coveney told the Examiner that the government was “clearly not happy” Russia had ignored their request but added “I’d be surprised if it was a Russian tactic to upset Ireland.” He also commended the IAA for managing the situation “safely and effectively.”

    Russia is thought to have been communicating its annoyance over UK action on Ukraine. Ireland does not appear to have been the target of intimidation.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties


    Russia Conducts Nuclear Bomber Flight Near Alaska

    Two Bear H bombers intrude into air defense zone

    May 1, 2015
    By Bill Gertz

    Two Russian nuclear-capable bombers intruded into the U.S. air defense zone near Alaska last week in the latest saber rattling by Moscow, defense officials said.

    The Tu-95 Bear H bombers flew into the Alaska zone on April 22. But unlike most earlier incursions, no U.S. interceptor jets were dispatched to shadow them, said defense officials familiar with the latest U.S.-Russian aerial encounter.

    Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a spokesman for the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), declined to confirm the incursion. But he said no jets were dispatched last week to intercept intruding aircraft.

    The incident was the first Russian bomber incursion of a U.S. or Canadian air defense zone this year. Officials said it likely signals the start of Russia’s long-range aviation spring training cycle. Further aerial incursions are expected.

    Last year, U.S. and Canadian jets intercepted Russian bombers on at least six occasions, and intruding Russian long-range aircraft were detected on 10 occasions, Davis said.

    Despite remaining in international airspace, “we believe that if the Russian military filed flight plans and self-identified—by ‘squawking and talking’—the overall safety of flight would be enhanced,” Davis said.

    “And it could also reduce the number of times we scrambled fighter jets to intercept the aircraft, thereby reducing the potential for miscalculation.”

    Davis said the increase in flights near North America coincided with Russia’s incursion into the Ukraine and Crimea.

    “These flights often enter the U.S. or Canadian [air defense identification zone], but have not entered U.S. or Canadian sovereign airspace,” he said, adding that the flights are legal since the ADIZ is not sovereign airspace.

    Last year’s intercepts included the following encounters, according to NORAD:

    • On April 2, 2014, two U.S. F-22 fighters intercepted two Bear bombers west of Alaska’s coast.
    • On June 9, 2014, two F-22s intercepted four Bears and one refueling tanker near Alaska. Two of the Bears later flew near the California coast and were intercepted by two F-15s.
    • Early August 2014: NORAD notes a “spike” Russian aircraft operating in and around the U.S. ADIZ.
    • On Sept 17, 2014, two F-22s intercepted two Russian IL-78 refueling tankers, two Russian Mig-31 fighter jets and two Bear long-range bombers in the ADIZ west of Alaska. The Russian aircraft flew a loop south, then turned west toward Russia.
    • On Sept. 18, 2014, two Bears were intercepted and identified by two Canadian CF-18 fighters in the western reaches of the Canadian ADIZ, in the Beaufort Sea.
    • On Dec. 8, 2014, two CF-18s intercepted two Bears near the Beaufort Sea off Canada’s coast.


    In Europe, the latest bomber encounter took place on April 14, when two British Typhoon jet fighters intercepted two Bear H bombers near British airspace.

    A Russian embassy spokesman did not return an email seeking comment.

    Senior military officials have said Russia has stepped up such bomber flights near U.S. coasts as part of a strategic messaging and influence operation.

    Northern Command commander Adm. William Gortney told reporters April 7 that Russia is developing a far more capable military than its predecessor, the Soviet Union, which made up for its poor quality of troops and equipment by deploying very large numbers of forces, he said.

    Moscow also has published a new military doctrine that explains the military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and covert backing of armed rebels in eastern Ukraine, Gortney said.

    “At the same time, they are messaging us,” the four-star admiral said. “They’re messaging us that they’re a global power—we do the same sort of thing—with their long-range aviation.”

    Both numbers of flights and numbers of locations for the bomber flights “have gone up,” he said.

    “So we watch very carefully what they’re doing,” Gortney said. “They are adhering to international standards that are required by all airplanes that are out there. And everybody is flying in a professional manner on their side and our side as we watch very closely.”

    “But really, my question is, what is their intent long-term-wise?”

    The latest Bear bomber intrusion near Alaska followed the intercept of a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over Baltic Sea on April 7 that the Pentagon said was provocative and dangerous.

    Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Russian Su-27 jet conducted a “reckless” and “unprofessional” intercept of the RC-135 and noted that the Pentagon protested that U.S.-Russia aerial encounter.

    Gen. Phillip Breedlove, commander of the U.S. European Command, told a Senate hearing Thursday that a “revanchist” Russia threat under Vladimir Putin is the most serious security worry facing the region.

    “Russia is blatantly challenging the rules and principles that have been the bedrock of European security for decades,” Breedlove told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    “This is global. It’s not regional, and it is enduring, not temporary,” he said. “Russian aggression is clearly visible in its illegal occupation of Crimea and its continued operations in Eastern Ukraine.”

    Breedlove said the Russians are waging “hybrid” warfare using both military forces and information operations. In Ukraine they have supplied proxies with significant assistance, he said.

    “What worries me is Russia as a nation now adopting an approach that says they can and will use military power to change international borders,” Breedlove said. “That’s what I truly worry about every day.”

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties


    RAF Jets Scrambled To Intercept Russian Bombers

    A number of RAF jets have been scrambled to intercept a Russian bomber, the latest in a series of provocative operations by the country's air force

    May 14, 2015

    A number of RAF jets have been scrambled to intercept two Russian long-range bombers off northern Scotland, the latest in a series of provocative operations by the country's air force.

    As tensions between NATO and Russia have worsened over the Ukraine crisis, Moscow has significantly increased the number of military flights probing NATO airspace. The number of interceptions over the Baltic States trebled last year and NATO members including Britain have stepped up air policing support in the area.

    The two RAF Typhoons were operating under a NATO command.

    The Russian planes were spotted flying north of Scotland towards the UK. They were in international airspace throughout the incident.

    The Bear bombers were not considered a threat at any time, according to sources briefed on the incident.

    An RAF spokesman said: “RAF Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon fighter aircraft were launched today from RAF Lossiemouth after unidentified aircraft were tracked flying towards UK airspace.

    "The aircraft were identified as Russian Bear aircraft which were escorted by the RAF Typhoon fighters until they were out of the UK area of interest.

    "At no time did the Russian military aircraft cross into UK sovereign airspace.”

    The Russian press attaché in London could not be reached for comment.

    The incident is the latest in a string of probing manoeuvres toward Britain by Russian planes and ships in recent months.

    In April, Typhoons out of Lossiemouth again intercepted Bear bombers flying near UK airspace, hours after HMS Argyll was deployed to monitor a destroyer and two other ships from the country as they passed through the English Channel.

    Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, previously told the Telegraph that when Russian aircraft were in the Channel "We had to scramble jets very quickly to see them off."

    "It’s the first time since the height of the Cold War, it’s the first time that’s happened.

    "That just shows you, you need to respond, each time he [Vladimir Putin] does something like that, you need to be ready to respond.”

    Last year, RAF jets were launched to deter Russian aircraft eight times – more than a third of the 20 times they were scrambled.

    None of the flights are understood to have crossed into UK airspace. It is not known what months of the year they incidents occurred.

    Sir Tony Brenton, British ambassador to the Russia between 2004 and 2008, said there was no doubt Mr Putin’s decision to send planes close to Britain’s borders was deliberate.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Jennifer Griffin reporting on FNC now that Russian bombers were sighted off the Alaskan and Californian coasts on July 4th.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    California? Are Bears able to fly roundtrip from Russia to California? Isn't that on the order of 6,000 miles?

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Most of the Bears that fly the West Coast are based out of Vladivostok. That's about 5500 miles to L.A. direct.

    Bears have an unrefueled range of about 8000 miles. They're getting tanked up somewhere on that trip.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Yeah, and we know precisely where they are tanking up.

    They are being watched.
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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties


    Officials: US Jets Scramble To Intercept Russian Bombers Off California, Alaska Coasts On July 4

    July 6, 2015

    While the United States celebrated Independence Day, two pairs of Russian bombers flew off the coast of California and Alaska -- forcing the Air Force to scramble fighter jets to intercept both flights, two senior defense officials tell Fox News.

    The first incident occurred at 10:30 a.m. ET on July 4 off the coast of Alaska, Fox News is told. Two U.S. Air Force F-22 jets were scrambled from their base in Alaska to intercept two Tupolev Tu-95 long-range strategic bombers, capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

    The second incident occurred at 11:00 a.m. ET also on July 4, off the central coast of California. Two F-15s from an undisclosed location were scrambled to intercept another pair of Tu-95 Bear bombers.

    A spokesman for NORAD would not confirm if either pair of bombers was armed.

    At no time did either pair of bombers enter U.S. airspace, 12 nautical miles off the coast, according to one defense official. Neither official would reveal just how close the bombers came to U.S. shores.

    At the same time the bombers were in the air probing the West Coast of the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Obama to wish him a happy July 4th.

    "These are not unprecedented flights, but we are postured to respond whether Alaska or California," NORAD spokesman Michael Kucharek said. "At no time did the bombers enter North American sovereign airspace."

    A similar incident took place on July 4, 2013.

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