A lot of people might say ‘so what’ and dismiss any threat as the Russians are using Cold War era bombers. The planes themselves may not be the threat, however, the nuclear capable missiles they carry are. Slow and aged Russian bombers don’t even need to be anywhere near the coastal areas of America to launch advanced radar evading missiles from planes that can reach all of the country within minutes. Meanwhile, the United States is down to under 800 nuclear warheads while the Soviet collection ranges from 6,000 – 10,000.
Russians increase air activity as a show of force, gathering intel, says U.S. air forces chief.
The head of U.S. air forces in the Pacific said on Monday that Russia’s intervention in Ukraine had been accompanied by a significant increase in Russian air activity in the Asia-Pacific region in a show of strength and to gather intelligence.
General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle said the activity had included Russian flights to the coast of California, and around the U.S. Pacific island of Guam.
Carlisle said the number of long-range Russian patrols around the Japanese islands and Korea had increased “drastically.” He said there had also been “a lot more ship activity as well.”
Speaking at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, Carlisle showed a slide of a U.S. F-15 fighter jet intercepting a Russian “Bear” aircraft over Guam. He used the Cold War NATO name for Russia’s Tupolov Tu-95 strategic bomber.
“They’ve come with their long-range aviation out to the coast of California, they’ve circumnavigated Guam,” he said.
“That’s to demonstrate their capability to do it, it’s to gather intel,” Carlisle said, adding that the surveillance had included observation of military exercises involving U.S. forces in South Korea and Japan.
Full article: U.S.: Russian planes spotted near California, Guam (Haaretz)