U.S. Air Force F-22 stealth fighters intercepted two Russian strategic bombers escorted by two fighter jets near Alaska on Tuesday, marking the second time Russia has done so in a month.
Two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers, which are traditionally armed with a variety of air-launched cruise missiles, accompanied by Su-35 Flanker fighter jets were picked up by U.S. aircraft "west of mainland Alaska," North American Aerospace Defense Command said in a statement Wednesday.
A similar incident occurred on Sept. 1, the Washington Free Beacon first reported. A defense official told the newspaper that the Russian bombers, which entered the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), south of the Aleutian Islands, may have been practicing cruise missile strikes on US missile defense systems based in Alaska.
The purpose of the most recent flyby is unknown, but it comes as Russia and China kick off Russia's largest war games in decades. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, as first noted by Fox News, released a video Wednesday of two Cold War bombers escorted by fighter aircraft taking off for exercises from an airbase in eastern Russia.
The video is from the Vostok 2018 exercises, in which thousands of Chinese troops are training alongside hundreds of thousands of Russian forces.
It is unclear if the aircraft in the video are the same ones that were intercepted near Alaska.
Russia conducts operations and exercises of this nature regularly. In mid-August, Russia flew two supersonic nuclear-capable Tu-160 bombers past Alaska, demonstrating that Moscow can deploy heavy bombers close to the United States. The Tu-160 bombers can carry six standard cruise missiles and 12 short-range nuclear missiles and fly at speeds greater than two times the speed of sound.
Defense officials told Fox News that two Russian bombers came within 55 miles of Alaska's west coast in May, although the aircraft did not enter U.S. airspace, as was the case in the other reported incidents. The flybys show a boldness on Russia's part as tensions between Moscow and Washington rise.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $13,000 over a three-month period for a senior official's biweekly commute to Washington from his home in California, according to expense reports obtained by ProPublica.
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)
CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense
Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.
It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.