Expect the Russians to Keep Buzzing American Navy Ships

Cold War-era tactics resurface at sea, but this time, Moscow’s ultimate intentions are unknown.

In the opening dogfight of “Top Gun,” a sailor stares at a radar screen, nervously calling out the distance of fictitious MiG-28 fighter jets challenging Tom Cruise in his F-14 Tomcat. His commander watches the foreign aircraft edge closer to his carrier, and finally barks, “250 miles — get ’em outta here.”

A similar scene likely unfolded Tuesday as two Russian Tupolev Tu-142s approached the USS Ronald Reagan in international waters near the Korean peninsula. The carrier launched four armed F/A-18 Super Hornets to intercept and escort the maritime patrol aircraft, variants of the venerable Bear bomber. Still, the Russian planes pressed on, eventually passing within one mile of the U.S. carrier. Continue reading

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. Continue reading