As we reported on Tuesday, Russia has been sending long-range bombers on flights that took them mighty close to Alaska.
Turns out, those pesky Russians are still at it.
Just in: Russian aircraft flew into the Alaskan Air Defense identification zone – fourth time in four days – U.S. Defense official
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) April 21, 2017
There are scant few details being circulated about the Wednesday and Thursday evening
sorties pleasure flights. But we know quite a bit about the events of Monday and Tuesday.
According to Fox News, two nuclear-capable Russian TU-95 Bear bombers were first spotted on Monday evening flying within 100 miles of the coast of Alaska. Two U.S. F-22 fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the bombers, with the F-22s flying alongside the TU-95s for a good 15 minutes before the Russians returned to an airbase in Anadyr, some 1,000 miles away.
The Tuesday night incident was somewhat less dramatic. Again, two TU-95 Bear bombers flew close to the U.S. border, this time coming within 36 nautical miles of the mainland. The U.S. military response was more restrained, merely deploying an E-3 (AWACS) surveillance aircraft to keep an eye on the Russian fighters.
All of the incidents have taken place within the Alaskan Air Defense and Identification Zone (ADIZ), which is the airspace around the U.S. and Canada. Aircraft entering the ADIZ must radio their planned course and destination; the Russians, presumably, did not extend this courtesy to their hosts.
This is the first time Russia has sent bombers so close to the U.S. since President Trump took office. It might mean nothing at all, but coming on the heels of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comment last week that U.S.-Russian relations were at a “low point”, these incidents certainly feel very Cold War-esque.
Sounds like it’s time to get Mav and Goose on the case.