On Wednesday, the Minoborony Rossii reported that USAF F-22 fighters intercepted Tu-95MS strategic bombers on a patrol mission in international airspace near Alaska:
On 17 April 2017, two Tu-95MS strategic bombers from the Ukrainka airbase (in the Far Eastern Amur Oblast) successfully performed tasks under the air patrol schedule. The route of the flight ran above neutral waters in the Pacific Ocean, along the Aleutian Islands. The aircraft covered about 5,000 kilometres (3,107 miles) at a speed of up to 850 kph (528 mph) and at a height of up to 10,000 metres (32,809 feet). The flight lasted more than seven hours. USAF F-22 fighters accompanied the Tu-95MS bombers for 27 minutes. Long-Range Aviation regularly carries out patrol missions above neutral waters in the Arctic, the Atlantic, the Black Sea, and the Pacific Ocean. It carries out all such missions in strict compliance with international regulations and with respect to national borders.
Earlier, Pentagon spokesman Michelle Baldanza told TASS that the USAF scrambled two F-22 fighters on Tuesday to intercept Russian bombers near the coast of Alaska. Citing unnamed US defence officials, Fox News reported that the USAF scrambled two F-22 fighters and an E-3 airborne early warning plane to intercept the Russian aircraft, which flew roughly 280 miles (450 kilometres) southwest of Elmendorf Air Force Base, within the USA’s Air Defence Identification Zone. Fox stated that the last spotting of Russian bombers near the US borders was on 4 July 2015, off the coasts of Alaska and California, coming as close as 40 miles (65 kilometres) to Mendocino in California.
19 April 2017
As the Tu-95s were in international airspace, they had every right to be there. This was a subtle warning from the “polite people” to the “exceptional Americans”… “We’re not pushovers and we’re not going to kowtow to you, either”. One wonders if Trump got the message…