Russia’s National Defense Control Center told reporters on Friday Russian radars had detected three B-52N strategic bombers which were approaching Russia’s sovereign airspace. A spokesman said: “Four Su-27 fighter jets and four Su-30 fighter jets of the Southern Military District’s air defense units on duty were scrambled to intercept the US Air Force aircraft over the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, with the aim to prevent their unauthorized incursion into the Russian airspace.”
After the US aircraft flew away from the border with Russia, the Russian jets returned to home airbases, the Center said.
The spokesman added: “All the flights of the Russian fighter jets took place in strict accordance with international airspace rules.
“The US aircraft were not allowed to illegally cross the state border of the Russian Federation.”
Earlier this evening, US European Command tweeted: “Three U.S. Air Force B-52s conducted vital integration training with Ukrainian fighters Friday inside Ukraine’s airspace.”
A statement published on US_EUCOM’s website added: “Three U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber aircraft from the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, conducted vital integration training with Ukrainian fighters Friday inside Ukraine’s airspace.
“Friday’s strategic bomber mission is part of the long-planned deployment of six B-52s to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England.
“The mission provided partners valuable midair training.
“In addition, the mission demonstrated how forward-located aircraft and crews, such as those in the B-52 units, enable collective defense capabilities and provide the US, NATO Allies and partners strategic and operational breadth to deter Russia and assure Allies and partners.”
EUCOM’s statement explained more than 200 related missions had been conducted since the Bomber Task Force launched operations in the European theater two years ago.
The ongoing bomber missions aimed to showcase the US Air Force’s ability to continually execute flying missions, sustain readiness and support Allies and partners across Europe, regardless of external challenges to include the current global COVID-19 crisis response.
The Aviationist website suggested the move was intended as a “clear show of force to Russia”.
An analysis published on its website suggested: “The mission appears to be yet another clear signal sent to Russia, amid worsening US–Russian relations, and reinforces the message that the Black Sea is considered strategic to the US and NATO, as shown by the recent missions flown to the region by B-1s (training on LRASM attack profiles) and F-16s (flying JASSM cruise missile tactics training).
The website also cited Twitter user Evergreen Intel, who posted GPS data and suggested the exercise could reflect a nuclear strike mission profile against targets in Russia : “Looking at what directions JULIA flight (2-3 nuclear B-52s) has in their approaches, its a bit more clear what message this sends.”
“Krasnodar is home to the 1st Guards Rocket Brigade.
“Rostov-on-Don is HQ to Southern Military District.
“Sevastopol is home to Black Sea Fleet.”
(This is a breaking story – more to follow)
Published at Fri, 04 Sep 2020 20:18:00 +0000