Russian Warplanes Buzz USS Ronald Reagan


War games: 2 Russian Bear bombers came within one nautical mile of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan prompting the vessel to scramble 4 armed fighter jets. The U.S. tried to raise the Russian bomber by radio, but there was no answer.

Navy Times
The carrier Ronald Reagan scrambled four armed F/A-18 Hornets Tuesday to intercept two incoming Russian bombers in a startling low altitude pass by 7th Fleet's aircraft carrier.

The TU-142 Bear bombers barreled by at an altitude of 500 feet and within a mile of the flattop, then participating in exercises with the Republic of Korea. Navy officials said the intercept by the Hornets was standard procedure for aircraft operating near Navy forces.

Navy officials characterized the interactions as safe.

The Reagan Carrier Strike Group attempted to raise the bomber on the radio but the Russians made no answer, said Navy spokesman Cmdr. William Marks in a statement. The Russian fly-by was first reported by Stars and Stripes. Bear bombers have a long-range and are used for reconnaissance, though they can be configured and loaded out with cruise missiles and anti-submarine weapons, among other things.