Sat, Aug 09, 2014
Sixteen Incursions Have Been Noted Since Late July, NORAD Says
NORAD says that Russian Tu-95 "Bear H" bombers have been making frequent incursions into U.S. airspace, and in at least one case, a spy plane was detected along with the bombers.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that “Over the past week, NORAD has visually identified Russian aircraft operating in and around the U.S. air defense identification zones,” according to Maj. Beth Smith, spokeswoman for U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
The flight have taken place mostly along the Alaskan ADIZ which covers the Aleutian Islands as well as the continental portion of Alaska. Smith said at least one flight penetrated Canada's ADIZ. NORAD says its fighters have been scrambled on several occasions due to the incursions.
While smith said the flights are a "spike in activity," they appeared to be routine training sorties. Other defense officials, however, caution that the flights are reminiscent of Soviet actions during the Cold War. One defense official, who is not authorized to speak to the media, said that Russia is "trying to test our air defense reactions, or our command and control systems ... these are not just training missions."
(Tu-95 Bear Bomber pictured in file photo)
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