Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Russian jet fighter intercepts U.S. bomber over Baltic Sea

Russia scrambled a fighter jet to intercept a nuclear-capable U.S. B-52 strategic bomber it said was flying over the Baltic Sea near its border, in an incident that had echoes of the Cold War. The appearance of the B-52, a long-range bomber that first went into service in the 1950s, irked Moscow. Russian air defense systems detected the U.S. bomber at around 1000 Moscow time as it was flying over neutral waters parallel to the Russian border and sent a Sukhoi Su-27 jet to intercept it, the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The B-52 was designed to attack Moscow's most vital targets via the North Pole in the event of a nuclear war when the Soviet Union still existed.
Mikhail Ulyanov said Moscow believed a number of U.S. B-52s had recently been transferred from their base in Louisiana to Britain to take part in military exercises. U.S. forces are engaged in various exercises with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and other partner nations as part of the Saber Strike war games. The United States is also taking part in the annual BALTOPS naval training exercise in the Baltic Sea which runs until June 16.