Tuesday marked the second consecutive night that Russia has flown two long-range, nuclear-capable bombers off the coast of Alaska, the latest incident bringing the planes within 36 miles of the mainland as they flew north of the Aleutian Islands.
According to Fox News, U.S military radar picked up the two Tu-95H bombers at 5 p.m. local time.
The U.S. Air Force declined to scramble fighter jets as they did on Monday night, choosing instead to send a single E-3 Sentry early warning aircraft, known as AWACS, to ensure that the two Russian bombers were not accompanied by other aircraft.
On Monday night, two Russian bombers flew within 100 miles of Alaska, not far from U.S. territorial waters that extend 12 nautical miles from Alaska’s shore.
The Russian bombers were deployed from an airbase in Petropavlovsk, Russia, and returned to an airbase in Anadyr five hours later. The two airbases are located in eastern Russia, approximately 1,000 miles away.
In a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson contended that relations between the U.S. and Russia were at a “low point”.
During Tillerson’s visit to Moscow, three Russian bombers flew near the east coast of Japan, causing the Japanese military to scramble 14 fighter jets in response. Additionally, a Russian spy plane was spotted off the west coast of Japan.
Prior to Monday night’s incident near Alaska, Russian aircraft had not flown near U.S. territory since July 4, 2015, when two Russian bombers skimmed the coasts of Alaska and California, coming within 40 miles of Mendocino, California.
Russian President Vladimir Putin taunted then-President Barack Obama with a phone call, wishing him a happy Independence Day as the bombers traversed the California coastline.
A Russian spy ship cruised up and down the East Coast of the U.S. in February but remained in international waters.
H/T: Fox News
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