In the last 72 hours alone, Russia has flown nuclear-armed Tu-95 bombers, escorted by modern Su-27 and Su-35 Flanker fighters and refueled by Midas tankers, numerous times just outside the airspace of many European countries, as well as near Canada’s Atlantic coast.
“Russian nuclear-capable bombers conducted a third day of military runs along Europe’s coasts on Friday as part of heightened strategic activities by Moscow, the NATO alliance said.
“On Friday, Russian planes carried out more flights over Europe,” said NATO spokesman Maj. Rob Phillips. “NATO tracked these flights over the Baltics, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.” (…)
The latest Russian warplanes flights prompted a senior defense official to described Moscow’s military activities as “relentless.”
The centerpiece of the Russian aerial maneuvers involved two Bear bombers that flew around the west coast of Britain as far south as Portugal before turning back and flying to a Russian air base.
Phillips said the aircraft did not file flight plans or engage in radio or other contact with civilian air controls and turned off on-board transponders, a measure he said “poses a danger to civilian air traffic.”
The Friday flights follow similar flights by 19 Russian aircraft Wednesday and Thursday near Europe that included Tu-95s along with flights of Su-35 fighter bombers.
Further east, four Russian aircraft, including two Bears and two Su-27s were intercepted over the Black Sea on Wednesday by Turkish fighters.
The latest Russian flights followed numerous strategic bomber incursions in recent months of air defense zones near Alaska and California, as well as along Canada’s eastern coast.
Phillips said NATO has conducted over 100 intercepts of Russian aircraft this year, about three times the number of intercepts carried out last year.”
This demonstrates once again the need for a large and diverse US nuclear arsenal, for British and French national nuclear deterrents, and for modern, highly capable air superiority and air defense fighters. The notion that nuclear weapons are irrelevant to today’s security challenges has once again been utterly discredited – along with all those who preach that garbage.