Russian aircraft approach USS Ronald Reagan, prompting US fighter jet scramble

Another day, another Russian provocation. At least this time they were polite enough not to shut off the carrier like they did the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea — which you do not hear about in this article.

 

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The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and South Korean navy ships steam in formation during an exercise Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, in international waters to the east of the Korean Peninsula. Two Russian aircraft flew within one nautical mile at a height of 500 feet, prompting the carrier to launch four fighter jets in response. The Russian aircraft left without further incident. Nathan Burke/U.S. Navy

 

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The USS Ronald Reagan scrambled its fighter jets earlier this week after two Russian naval reconnaissance aircraft flew within one nautical mile of the U.S. aircraft carrier as it sailed in international waters east of the Korean Peninsula, according to 7th Fleet officials.

In the latest in a series of incidents involving Russian aircraft, two Tupolev Tu-142 Bear aircraft flew as low as 500 feet Tuesday morning near the Reagan, which has been conducting scheduled maneuvers with South Korean navy ships. Four F/A-18 Super Hornets took off from the Reagan’s flight deck in response to the Russian advance, 7th Fleet spokeswoman Lt. Lauren Cole said Thursday.

U.S. officials attempted to contact the Russian aircraft but received no radio response. A U.S. ship escorting the Ronald Reagan followed the Russian aircraft as they withdrew, Navy officials said.

On multiple occasions in the past year, Russian aircraft have tested international boundaries by either violating other countries’ airspace or engaging in what Pentagon officials have called “provocative” actions toward U.S. and NATO ships.

In April, a Russian SU-24 fighter jet made 12 “close-range, low-altitude” passes near the USS Donald Cook while the ship was in international waters in the western Black Sea near Romania, the Pentagon has said. Last month, NATO officials said Russian fighters violated Turkish airspace several times.

In September, Japan alleged that Russia violated airspace over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

The incidents continue to raise questions about Russian navy aircraft safety practices.

Full article: Russian aircraft approach USS Ronald Reagan, prompting US fighter jet scramble (Stars & Stripes)

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