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Thread: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    The bombers were armed.

    They are always armed.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties


    Russian Tu-95MS Bear Bomber Crashes In The Far East During Training Exercise

    July 14, 2015

    A Russian Tu-95MS Bear strategic bomber crashed in the Khabarovsk region in the country’s Far East during a training exercise, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced Tuesday. The Tu-95MS is a large, four-engine strategic bomber and missile platform, which entered service with the Soviet Union in 1956, and is expected to be part of the Russian air force until at least 2040.

    “On July 14 at 9.50 a.m. Moscow time [2:50 a.m. EDT] the Tu-95MS aircraft crashed while performing a scheduled training flight some 80 kilometers [50 miles] from Khabarovsk. The crew ejected,” Russia’s TASS news agency quoted the defense ministry as saying.

    The aircraft was not carrying any ammunition allowance -- meaning it was unarmed -- when it crashed in a deserted area in Khabarovsk. A source told TASS that the crash occurred because three of the plane's propulsion systems failed. Khabarovsk lies nearly 500 miles north of the eastern city of Vladivostok.

    Meanwhile, authorities reportedly deployed an Antonov An-12 aircraft and two Mi-8 helicopters to search for the seven crew members.

    Tuesday’s incident came more than a month after the Russian Ministry of Defense grounded the entire fleet of Tu-95MS bombers after one of the planes overshot a runway while landing, and suffered an engine fire.

    According to 2004 data, cited by military information site Globalsecurity.org, the Russian air force has 63 Tu-95MS bombers, and 42 of them are based at the Ukrainka airfield in the Amur region, where the June accident reportedly occurred during a practice flight.


    Earlier this month, the entire Russian fleet of the SU-24 supersonic fighter jets was grounded after one plane crashed during takeoff in Khabarovsk near the Sea of Japan. The accident killed both pilots on board.

    According to recent reports, Russia plans to upgrade at least 10 Tu-95MS strategic bombers -- capable of carrying nuclear missiles -- by 2016. The government also recently announced that nearly 70 percent of the Russian Armed Forces’ strategic aviation force would be modernized by 2020.

    In May, Russia announced that it would buy at least 50 Tupolev Tu-160 “Blackjack” heavy strategic bombers, which would be produced simultaneously with the country’s new bomber, called PAK DA.

    However, the announcements by Russian officials were deemed unfeasible by many experts, who said that the country does not have enough qualified personnel and funding necessary to support the predicted expansion.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    More info on the July 4th flight...


    Russian Bombers Flew Within 40 Miles of N. California Coast

    July 22, 2015
    By Bill Gertz

    Two Russian nuclear bombers flew within 40 miles of the California coast and one of the pilots relayed a veiled threat during the Fourth of July aerial incident, defense officials said.

    Good morning American pilots, we are here to greet you on your Fourth of July Independence Day,” a Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber crew member stated over the emergency aircraft channel.

    Meanwhile, Russia’s across-the-board buildup of nuclear forces and revised doctrine are increasing the danger of a nuclear war, according to a think tank report on nuclear threats.

    Defense officials and the Colorado-based U.S. Northern Command said this week that two U.S. F-15 jets intercepted the Russian bombers on July 4 as they flew as close as 39 miles from the coast of Mendocino County, north of San Francisco.

    During the intercept, a crew member on one of the bombers issued a warning in a radio message, according to defense officials familiar with the incident this week.

    Earlier the same day, the Bear bombers intruded on the U.S. air defense identification zone (ADIZ) near Alaska. The zone is a 200-mile controlled airspace patrolled by U.S. and Canadian jets under the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

    It was the second time the Russians conducted provocative bomber flights on the Fourth of July holiday. The last incident occurred on July 4, 2012, when two Bear bombers were intercepted off the California coast in what was then the closest such encounter near sovereign U.S. air space since the end of the Cold War.

    A Northcom spokesman declined to comment on the exact distance from the coast the bombers had flown.

    Two officials confirmed that the nature of the message from the Russian aircraft was a sardonic Independence Day greeting.

    One official said the nuclear-capable bomber flights so close to U.S. shores are part of nuclear saber-rattling by Moscow, and much more of a concern than routine U.S. aerial surveillance missions near Russia’s coasts.

    “These are nuclear-capable bombers and that is a big problem,” the official said.

    A second official said the buzzing of the California coast coincided with a telephone call made that day from Russian President Putin to President Obama. The Russian leader called for more U.S.-Russia dialogue, Reuters reported.

    Northcom said in a statement the Russian bomber flights were “potentially destabilizing.”

    In the Alaska encounter earlier in the day, two U.S. F-22 fighters intercepted the Bear bombers along the south coast of Alaska near the Aleutian Islands around 10:30 A.M. eastern time.

    The California bomber-fighter intercepts took place a half hour later as the propeller-powered aircraft moved south along the North American coast.

    “Even though state aircraft are not required to file flight plans for flying through an ADIZ, such unannounced operations by Russian strategic bombers near the U.S. and Canada are potentially destabilizing,” a spokesman for Northcom said.

    Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon nuclear forces expert, said such Russian bomber incursions are part of nuclear coercion by Moscow.

    “The pattern of Russian provocative bomber flights is dangerous because it reflects a Russian view that nuclear attack threats can and should be used to get their way on whatever they are attempting to achieve,” he said.

    Russia’s state-run Sputnik news reported Tuesday that despite its age, the Tu-95 is giving rise to fear in the NATO alliance because it “is capable of striking the United States with nuclear bombs.”

    The report on nuclear threats, “Foreign Nuclear Developments: The Gathering Storm,” warns that Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran are substantially increasing nuclear weapons and delivery systems at a time when the United States is reducing its reliance on nuclear forces.

    The report singles out Russia’s buildup of new missiles, bombers, and submarines, combined with aggression in Ukraine and its leaders’ public nuclear threats, as especially alarming.

    Russia’s new military doctrine, unveiled in December 2014, states Moscow will use nuclear arms if attacked with either nuclear or conventional weapons.

    The new doctrine has resulted in substantial increases in spending on new weapons, two new types of ICBMs—the Topol-M Variant 2 and the Yars—a new multi-warhead submarine missile called Bulava-30, a new class of missile submarines known as the Borey-class, upgrades for older bombers, and a new long-range strategic cruise missile called the Raduga.

    The Raduga is viewed by U.S. military officials as a new strategic threat to the U.S. homeland.

    “While many in the West believe that the end of the Cold War has meant the end of a confrontational and adversarial relationship with Russia, recent events suggest this hoped-for outcome is more the result of wishful thinking than of a sober and realistic assessment of the current geostrategic environment,” the report says.

    “Under these circumstances, the possibility that Russia may trigger events leading to their actual use of nuclear weapons cannot be dismissed out of hand.”


    Putin was quoted in Russian state media saying Moscow was set to place its nuclear forces on alert during the March 2014 annexation of Crimea.

    The Russian leader also has said Moscow is “one of the world’s biggest nuclear powers. These are not just words—this is the reality.” And in March he said, “Our nukes are always ready for action.”

    The report said Russian bombers have penetrated NATO airspace and overflown Japan, and Russian nuclear forces have conducted mock drills simulating coordinated strikes against the United States and its allies.

    The Obama administration sought a “reset” in relations with Russia by offering concessions and adopting conciliatory policies. Instead of moderating Moscow’s policies, Russia under Vladimir Putin has become more aggressive and threatening.

    “Senior Russian officials, including President Putin, have threatened that NATO allies may be targets for Russian nuclear forces, and President Putin has suggested he would have used nuclear weapons, if necessary, in the Russian invasion of Crimea,” the report says.

    The report was produced by the Virginia-based National Institute for Public Policy whose experts include several former Pentagon strategic nuclear experts.

    Keith Payne, the institute’s president, said the report dispels notions that a cooperative new world order has emerged that renders nuclear arms irrelevant.

    “This new report helps to explain the reality that ‎other states, particularly Russia, China, North Korea and Iran never bought into the West’s vision of a cooperative new world order and have continued to emphasize nuclear programs,” Payne said.

    China also is becoming more threatening and building up its nuclear and missile forces.

    “Chinese nuclear modernization is an element of a much broader military modernization program that is aimed ‘at winning short-duration, high-intensity conflicts against high-tech adversaries…’—considered to be the United States and its Asian allies,” the report said, adding that Chinese secrecy has successfully prevented an accurate count of its warheads.

    Current estimates of Chinese warheads range from several hundred to more than 3,000.

    Its missile forces are the largest in the world and include several thousand ballistic and cruise missiles with varying ranges, and many with multiple warheads.

    North Korea’s nuclear forces also are expanding, with Pyongyang seeking an arsenal of between 100 and 200 weapons by 2020, and long-range missiles capable of hitting targets in the region and throughout the United States.

    “North Korea’s training has recently exhibited more realism,” the report said. “Usually the North Korean regime is secretive about its exercises, but when expedient, it will talk about military preparations for a nuclear strike. Nuclear threats are sometimes made in the context of the North Korean leader observing or directing military exercises.”

    Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons, however, regional states are concerned Tehran is continuing to put in place all the elements of a nuclear weapon force, including the infrastructure for building warheads and long-range missiles that can deliver them.

    “The possession of nuclear weapons would permit more aggressive Iranian support of terrorism, which is already extensive. It would also provide Tehran a tool for coercion against its perceived enemies, while seeking to deter U.S. or allied actions,” the report said.

    Recent Iranian missile exercises have demonstrated “salvo” strikes that are indications that Iran is developing tactics for nuclear attacks, the report said.

    “Iran has substantial programs underway aimed at achieving a long-range nuclear strike capability,” the report said. “Due to years of cooperation with North Korea, Iran’s nuclear and missile programs are probably considerably more advanced than might be the case for a purely indigenous program.”

    The report said the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action aimed at curbing Iran’s uranium enrichment program would not halt the effort and that uranium enrichment may continue.

    “Moreover, this does not even assume Iranian cheating on the agreement, which cannot be discounted in light of verification problems and previous Iranian behavior,” the report said. “Indeed, the end of sanctions against Iran could provide critical resources for more covert nuclear weapons activities.”

    The report discussed U.S. and western efforts to produce a world free of nuclear weapons, noting that the efforts of Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran show that goal to be “further from reality than ever.”

    The increased reliance on nuclear arms by America’s enemies, coupled with reduced U.S. emphasis on strategic nuclear forces, does not bode well for maintaining strategic nuclear deterrence, the report said. The authors urged policymakers to take heed of growing nuclear threats as they craft security policies for the 21st Century.

    The report also disputed anti-nuclear advocates in favor of eliminating land-based U.S. missiles in favor of bomber-delivered and submarine-launched missile forces, and eliminating non-strategic nuclear arms and reducing investments in the nuclear arsenal.

    Such advocates “appear to ignore the greater emphasis placed by others on nuclear weapons and their relative importance as a counter to U.S. conventional force dominance, a deterrent to U.S. military actions, and an enabler of their own aggressive policies,” the report said.

    “As the Cold War recedes further into history, the nuclear threats posed by others to the United States and the West have not. In fact, the opposite appears to be the case,” the report concludes.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties


    NORAD: Russian Bombers Broadcast July 4th Audio Message to US Fighter Jets

    July 23, 2015

    NORAD has confirmed to Fox News that Russian bombers broadcast a Fourth of July audio message when they were intercepted off the California coast.

    Air Force fighter jets were scrambled to meet the Tu-95 turboprop planes, which are referred to as Russian Bear bombers and are capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

    The long-range bombers were intercepted on July 4 just 39 miles from the California coast.

    NORAD has now confirmed that American pilots received an audio message from a Russian pilot on a radio frequency used during these types of situations.

    "Good morning, American pilots. We are here to greet you on your Fourth of July Independence Day," the message stated.

    At about the same time, a second incident occurred in an area known as the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone.



    The United States military says if a plane is flying in that area, it will be intercepted. The Russian bombers never encroached into United States airspace in either incident.

    Vittert noted that as these incidents were occurring, Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Obama to wish him a Happy Fourth of July.

    Vittert called these flights "the largest and most aggressive actions by the Russians we have seen since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991."

    At the time of the intercepts, NORAD declined to confirm whether the bombers were armed. A similar incident occurred on July 4, 2013.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties


    US Fighter Jets Scramble After Russian Warplanes Approach USS Ronald Reagan In Korean Peninsula

    October 29, 2015

    Russian bombers came within one nautical mile of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan earlier this week off Korea, prompting the nuclear-powered vessel to scramble fighter jets, a 7th Fleet spokeswoman told Stars and Stripes Thursday. The giant Tupolev bomber aircraft, also known as the Bear, flew as low as 500 feet as it approached the Reagan, which had been conducting scheduled maneuvers with the South Korean navy.

    As the two Tupolevs approached, the Reagan launched four F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets to intercept and identify, a standard procedure when encountering unidentifiable aircraft, said Lt. Lauren Cole.

    While the USS Ronald Reagan sent up four combat aircraft to deal with the two bombers, the entire incident took place in international waters, making the approach completely legal if not somewhat provocative and potentially dangerous.




    “We are advocates of any country being able to operate within international norms,” Cole said. “We do caveat that with the fact that all of these operations need to be conducted in accordance with the rights and regulations of other countries, and within a safe manner.”

    Russian aircraft have made a habit over the last year of testing international boundaries by violating the airspace of other countries and approaching U.S. and NATO ships in what the U.S. have previously described as “provocative” action.

    During a similar incident in April last year, the USS Donald Cook witnessed a Russian SU-24 fighter jet make 12 “close-range, low-altitude” flybys while the ship was conducting exercises in the Black Sea near Romania, according to the Pentagon. Last month, Turkey accused Russian jets of infiltrating its airspace while it conducted bombing missions inside Syria.

    The U.S. has been exercising freedom of international waters this week; the USS Lassen sailed through U.N.-recognized international waters that China had claimed as its sovereign territory.

  6. #146
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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    tick tock...

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Holy shit. Here I am with a mast down, rigging off, the foredeck strewn with parts, my pulpit being rebuilt and shit not going well at all out there. I can't even make a mad dash to get out of here.

    And I'm sitting right next to a Naval base.

    God

    Can luck be worse?
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Hang in there, AP. You'll get it done.

    Is that all work you knew needed doing?

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    Default

    Bah, nothing is going to happen.

    This is just the bear waking up. He's not ready to eat anything yet.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Bear's sticking his front paw in the water though, huh?

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Yeah, the Bear has been moseying around the area though. He's been off the coast here, and I've heard rumors but nothing substantiated, so I won't detail here.

    I have a ruined front end basically, MinuteMan. The bow pulpit was pretty much destroyed. Didn't look bad from a distance, some bent steel, but it was bent, broken, bent bolts, pulled through the wood nuts, and the platform was shattered in several places. The bowsprit took a pretty terrific hit from what witnesses say.

    There are some "cracks" along the boards forming the sprit (it's made of boards laminated together). I'm not concerned about those at this time.

    I'll pull the sprit myself in a year or so, clean it up, re-epoxy it and paint.

    We ought to be getting out of here in a week or two. Monday is the day it's supposed to come together.

    However, new damages were added by the surveyor yesterday for the forestay (the wire holding up the front furling system and the main mast) and that will require repairs as well. I won't be getting out of here for less than 10,000 bucks. Fortunately most of that is on the insurance and not me (I have charges for the mast rewiring, wind equipment, washdown and the fuel and engine work).

    Sorry, not meaning to jack the thread here.
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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    VERY heavy Russian activity.


    RAF Lossiemouth Fighter Jets Scrambled Over Russian Planes



    November 20, 2015

    Typhoon fighter jets were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth to intercept two Russian bombers, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.

    The initially unidentified jets were detected flying over the Atlantic in international airspace on Thursday evening.

    The Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers were later escorted by the RAF jets.

    The MoD said at the Russian military aircraft never crossed into UK airspace at any stage.

    An RAF spokesperson said: "RAF Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon fighter aircraft were launched overnight from RAF Lossiemouth on a Nato air policing mission after unidentified aircraft were detected flying over the Atlantic in international airspace.

    "The aircraft were identified as Russian Tu-160 Blackjack aircraft which were escorted by the RAF until they were clear of the UK area of interest.

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

    It is the latest of several similar incidents involving Russian military aircraft flying close to UK airspace.

    Last month, RAF Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth were scrambled to intercept two similar aircraft flying over the North Sea.

    And in May, Russian "Bear" strategic bombers were intercepted after being spotted north of Scotland.



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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties


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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties


    Russian Bombers Again Circle Guam

    Moscow’s latest nuclear saber rattling follows buzzing of USS Reagan

    December 4, 2015
    By Bill Gertz

    Russian bombers circled the U.S. military hub on the Pacific island of Guam last week in the latest case of Moscow’s nuclear saber rattling.

    “On Nov. 25th, two Russian bomber aircraft circumvented Guam, transiting international airspace,” said Army Maj. Dave Eastburn, a Pacific Command spokesman.

    The latest bomber flights around the island were the fourth time in the past three years that Russian bombers circumnavigated Guam.

    Earlier incursions took place on Dec. 13 and Nov. 12, 2014, and Feb. 12, 2013. During the 2013 incident, U.S. F-15 jets were scrambled to intercept the bombers.

    Eastburn declined to specify the exact type of bombers involved in the circumnavigation and sought to play down the incident, noting that the flights “in no way” violated U.S. airspace around the island.

    Other officials said the bombers were Tu-95 Bear H nuclear-capable bombers.

    One defense official said Japanese jet fighters intercepted the bombers during an earlier stage of the Guam overflight.

    Brian McKeon, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, told a House hearing Wednesday that Moscow is building up its military forces and engaging in nuclear saber rattling, including threats to use nuclear weapons.

    “Moscow’s nuclear weapons saber rattling has raised questions about Russia’s commitment to strategic stability,” McKeon said.

    He added that “reckless” statements about using nuclear arms “cause us to wonder whether Russia continues to respect the profound caution that world leaders in the nuclear age have shown with regard to the brandishing of nuclear weapons or nuclear-inspired rhetoric.”

    In response to Russian provocations, the Pentagon is developing new unmanned systems, a new long-range bomber, a new long-range stand-off cruise missile, and a number of innovative technologies, McKeon said in testimony to a joint hearing of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.

    The pre-Thanksgiving Day flights by the Bear bombers come amid an increasing number of provocative Russian bomber activities in Asia, near U.S. coasts, and over Europe.

    On Oct. 27, two Tu-142 Bear F maritime reconnaissance aircraft, a variant of the Bear H, flew within one mile of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in the Sea of Japan.

    During the Reagan incident, four Navy F/A-18 jets were dispatched to escort the Bear bombers that were flying at an altitude of 500 feet.

    The bomber incursions are part of stepped-up Russian attempts at nuclear intimidation of the United States that have included increased bomber flights near U.S. coasts and in at least one case a simulated nuclear cruise missile attack, according to defense officials.

    On July 4, two Bear bombers came within 40 miles of the California coast in what U.S. officials said was an incident timed to the Fourth of July holiday. One of the Russians radioed “happy birthday” to an intercepting U.S. jet during that encounter.

    Tu-95s are known to carry Russia’s new long-range Kh-55SM cruise missiles, which can be armed with either nuclear or conventional warheads and have a range of up to 1,800 miles.

    The command said in a statement no U.S. jets were dispatched to intercept the Russian bombers since the aircraft were flying in international airspace.

    The aircraft were identified by other defense officials as Bear H strategic bombers.

    Russia conducted its operations around Guam in the past with Tu-95 long-range bombers,

    “We do not typically discuss the type of aircraft in these situations, but what we can confirm is that the aircraft were flying safely in international airspace and in accordance with international norms,” the command statement said. “As such, the decision was made not to intercept them.”

    The 36-mile-long island is home to Andersen Air Force Base, that regularly hosts deployments of B-52 bombers and temporary deployments of B-2 stealth bombers and F-22 advanced jet fighters. The Global Hawk long-range drone is also based on Guam.

    The island also hosts a major Navy base where four attack submarines are deployed.

    Guam is located some 3,800 miles west of Hawaii and will become the new home for 5,000 U.S. troops being relocated from Japan over the next seven years.

    It is considered America’s most significant military outpost in Asia and a key element of the Obama administration’s shift of forces toward Asia.

    Russia has announced that it too will be seeking to conduct a pivot to Asia by building up its forces in the Pacific. Russian military forces in the Pacific have declined sharply since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and are being built up under President Vladimir Putin. Analysts say the Russians are also seeking to gain control over the resource-rich Arctic region from bases in the Pacific.

    Russia announced this week that it is building 400 new military facilities on two Russian-controlled islands claimed by Japan, as part of a strategy to build up forces in the region, Japan’s NHK reported.

    Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on sea power, said that Putin “seems intent on recreating Cold War-era tension between Washington and Moscow, right down to the same antiquated Bear bomber patrols.”

    “Whether it is fomenting unrest in Eastern Europe, complicating efforts to resolve Syria’s brutal civil war, or supporting rogue regimes around the world, Russia has recently opted to play a destabilizing role in world affairs,” Forbes said. “Futile provocations only serve to deepen Russia’s growing isolation from the rest of the international community with no appreciable gain.”

    Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon strategic arms policymaker at the National Center for Public Policy, said the latest flights suggest that Moscow views the United States and NATO as its main enemies.

    “This has been made even clearer in their recent doctrinal publications concerning their military and naval doctrine,” said Schneider.

    “They also believe that Russian clout is enhanced by direct and indirect nuclear threats,” he said. “Flying nuclear capable bombers into air defense identification zones is one of their standard nuclear threats.”

    According to Schneider, Russia announced years ago that Guam is a key target of bomber flights and several years ago in in the context of a bomber flight around Guam, Russia announced that heavy bombers would now take on the mission of attacking aircraft carriers.

    A B-52 bomber from Guam recently flew over the disputed South China Sea, where China is aggressively claiming 90 percent of the strategic waterway as its maritime territory.

    Eastburn, the Pacom spokesman, said of the bomber flight that “international airspace belongs to everyone and is not the dominion of any single nation.”

    “The United States matches our words and our diplomacy with operations like this one conducted by Russia,” he said. “The rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea, air, space, and cyberspace guaranteed to all nations in international law are essential to prosperity, stability, and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific and we encourage all nations to exercise within the parameters of those laws.”

    Navy and Air Force facilities on Guam will be getting a multimillion dollar upgrade in the coming months.

    Steven Wolborsky, director of plans, program, and readiness at Andersen told Stars and Stripes last month that Guam’s two 11,000-foot runways were rebuilt in the past decade and that the base can handle more than 155 aircraft. Some 19 million pounds of explosives are stored on the base.

    Six B-52s are deployed continuously for six-month periods, while jet fighters are rotated every four months. Five Global Hawks are based at Andersen.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties


    What Makes Russia’s New Tu-160M2 Blackjack Supersonic Bomber Special

    August 4, 2016

    Russia’s new Tupolev Tu-160M2 Blackjack supersonic strategic bomber is expected to make its first flight in late 2018 and enter into full-rate production by 2021. The Tu-160M2 is a new upgraded variant of the late Soviet-era Blackjack, which was built in very small numbers before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

    “The first Tu-160M2 is expected to take off by the end of 2018, followed by full-scale production in 2021,” Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev, commander of the Russian Air Force told the state-owned RIA Novosti news outlet.

    The new date reflects a slight shift from previous Russian government statements, which had indicated the new production Blackjack would fly in 2019 with production starting in 2023. Many analysts, expect that the new Blackjack will become the backbone of the Russian strategic bomber force of the future assuming Moscow can find the funding for the project in the current economic climate.

    The Tu-160M2—though it more or less retains the same airframe—is practically a new aircraft under the hood. The new bomber will feature completely new mission systems and possibly be powered by upgraded versions of the existing Kuznetsov NK-32 afterburning turbofan. The Russians plan to buy about fifty of the new Tu-160 variant, however it is not clear if the 16 original model Tu-160 airframes will be upgraded to the new standard.

    Moscow can make do with the upgraded Tu-160M2 for its strategic bomber force because unlike the United States Air Force, the Russian Air Force does not expect the massive aircraft to penetrate into enemy airspace to deliver its payload. Instead, the Tu-160—which is capable of speeds of over Mach 2.0—would dash into position to launch long-range standoff cruise missiles. As such, stealth is not considered to be particularly important. Indeed, one of the advantages of a highly visible strategic bomber is that it enables nuclear signaling.

    But the Tu-160M2 is not likely to replace the long-serving Tupolev Tu-95 Bear—the two bombers will likely operate side-by-side for decades to come. “Both platforms will have to coexist at the same time like the B-52H and B-1B,” said Michael Kofman—a research scientist specializing in Russian military affairs at CNA Corporation. “They are not interchangeable, hence I do not subscribe to the theory that the Tu-160 can replace the Tu-95s in their various modifications.”

    As such—like the B-52—the Tu-95 likely has many years of service left before it is eventually replaced. It will likely remain the primary Russian strategic bomber for at least two more decades. “I see no future in which the Tu-95s are phased out for another 20 years,” Kofman said. “They are clearly being pylon modified for the new Kh-101/102 missile—which tells you they will have that mission for some time to come.”

    For the Russian Air Force, the bomber’s payload of cruise missiles is far more important than the bomber itself. The stealthy new Kh-101—which proved itself over Syria—and its Kh-102 nuclear-tipped variant are both designed to penetrate into heavily defended enemy airspace—allowing the bomber to strike from afar. Both missiles have ranges well in excess of 1800 miles and will comprise the primary armament for the Russian strategic bomber fleet.

    As for the Tupolev PAK-DA stealth bomber—it’s not likely to materialize anytime soon. “Russians like to announce new programs because it’s cheap to make aspirational announcements that may never be realized, especially in fiscally austere conditions,” Kofman had earlier told The National Interest.

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    Details Of Russian Bomber Intercept Over Europe Revealed

    October 5, 2016

    Four European countries were forced to scramble fighter jets after two Russian Blackjack bombers blasted across the continent, it has been revealed.

    The UK, Norway, France and Spain all intercepted the Tu-160 planes as they made a daring flight from Norway to northern Spain and back.

    During the flight, the bombers swooped across the top of Scotland, before skirting the west coast of Ireland, completing their route near northern Spain.

    Spanish media has reported it is the furthest south such an operation has had to take place – while the frequency of Russian bombers being intercepted by NATO aircraft has significantly increased.

    Although the incident occurred on September 22, the full details only emerged following an statement from the French Ministry of Defense.

    According to the statement, the two bombers were first detected by Norway, which scrambled two F-16 jets to accompany them to the north of Scotland – where they were then intercepted by RAF Typhoon aircraft.

    French Rafale fighter planes then picked up the bombers after they skirted Ireland’s west coast, before Spain sent two F-18 jets to intercept the Russian planes north of Bilbao.

    The RAF has confirmed that the Russian jets did not enter UK airspace at any point.

    However, for the UK, the incident was the latest of several involving Russian military aircraft.

    Relations between Russia and West have declined since 2014, when Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea.

    Recently, they worsened even further as the United States ended military co-operation with Russia over Syria.

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    Russian Nuclear-Capable Bombers Fly Near Japan, US Officials Say

    April 12, 2017

    For the first time in nearly three months, Russia flew nuclear-capable “Bear” bombers near Japan, Wednesday, the latest sign of increasing tensions in the region, two US officials tell Fox News.

    The officials said three Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers took off from a base in eastern Russia flying in the Sea of Japan and remained in international airspace.

    One U.S. official described the Russian bomber flight as “clearly meant to send a message.”

    This latest provocation from Russia comes as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Moscow, Wednesday, the first visit by a cabinet member to Russia since President Trump assumed office.

    Joining the three Russian long-range bombers was a IL-20 spy plane.

    The Russian bombers took off Wednesday from an air base in Ukrainka in eastern Russia, home to one of Russia’s largest fleet of strategic bombers.

    In late January, a pair of Russian bombers circumnavigated Japan for the first time in a year.

    On July 4, 2015, Russian bombers flew 40 miles off the coast of California on the same day President Vladimir Putin called President Obama to wish him a happy Independence Day.

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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Russians are upping the ante...

    Where is China in all this?
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties


    US Jets Intercept Russian Bombers Off The Coast Of Alaska

    April 18, 2017

    US jets intercepted two Russian bombers off the coast of Alaska on Monday night in the first such encounter since Donald Trump took over the White House.

    The last time Russian bombers flew near the US was on July 4, 2015, when the planes came as close as 40 miles off the shore of Mendocino, California.

    While the planes were flying off the US coast, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, made a point of calling Barack Obama to wish him a happy Independence Day.

    This time, Russia sent the two nuclear-capable bombers to within 100 miles of Kodiak Island, forcing the scrambling of the US planes.

    The US Air Force sent two F-22 stealth fighter jets and an E-3 airborne early warning plane to intercept the Russian bombers.

    The American jets flew alongside the Russian bombers for 12 minutes, Fox News reported, before the Russian bombers reversed course and headed back to their base in eastern Russia.

    The two Russian Tu-95 “Bear” bombers were flying roughly 280 miles southwest of Elmendorf Air Force Base, within the Air Defense Identification Zone of the United States.

    And the provocative move comes amid a time of high tension between the US and Russia, following the gassing of a Syrian town by Russian-backed Bashar al-Assad, and the US in retaliation bombing a Syrian airfield.

    Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, visited Moscow last week, noting that relations were at a “low point” - while sitting next to Sergei Lavrov, his Russian counterpart.

    While Mr Tillerson was in Moscow, three Russian bombers flew near the east coast of America’s ally Japan, forcing the Japanese military to scramble 14 fighter jets at various times to intercept the bombers. A Russian spy plane also flew along Japan’s west coast.




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    Default Re: Russia Resumes Nuke Bomber Sorties

    Just heard on the radio there is elevated concern from the military over the number of intercepts of Russian aircraft near Alaska recently, supposedly 4 this week.

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