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Russian Tu-95 Russian Bear H Strategic Nuclear Bombers in US Air Defense Zones; Done It Before

Thu August 07 2014 11:14 am  https://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=70697
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Russian Tu-95 Russian Bear H strategic nuclear bombers conducted at least 16 incursions into northwestern U.S. air defense identification zones over the past 10 days, an unusually sharp increase in aerial penetrations, according to U.S. defense officials.

The unusually high number of flight encounters by Tu-95 Russian Bear H bombers activated the scrambling of U.S. jet fighters during a time of heightened U.S.-Russian tensions over Ukraine.

During one bomber incursion near Alaska, a Russian intelligence-gathering jet (IL-20 intelligence collection aircraft) was detected flying with the bombers.


Russian long-range bombers returned to patrolling the skies on a regular basis at least since 2006. And the backbone of the country’s strategic fleet remains the TU-95 “Bear”, an aircraft many consider to be a Cold War legend.

“Over the past week, NORAD has visually identified Russian aircraft operating in and around the U.S. air defense identification zones,” said Maj. Beth Smith, spokeswoman for U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

Going back to the year 2006, North American Aerospace Defense Command launched three pairs of fighters Sept. 28, 2006 from the command’s Alaskan NORAD Region (ANR) and the Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) in response to Russian aircraft that penetrated North America’s Air Defense Identification Zone.

Last month and one day after Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down by a missile over eastern Ukraine, a United States RC-135 Rivet Joint electronic intelligence gathering aircraft violated Swedish airspace while it was evading a Russian interceptor fighter jet.

NORAD is a bi-national United States and Canadian organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America.

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