RT: Russian nuclear-capable bombers ‘tested’ US air defenses 16 times in last 10 days

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Published time: August 07, 2014 20:58
Edited time: August 08, 2014 12:19

Russian Tu-95 bombers (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov)

Russian Tu-95 bombers (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov)

Russian strategic nuclear bombers and other military aircraft entered US air defense identification zones (ADIZs) at least 16 times over the past ten days, American defense officials confirmed on Thursday.

“Over the past week, NORAD has visually identified Russian aircraft operating in and around the US air defense identification zones,” said Maj. Beth Smith, spokeswoman for US Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

Smith sought to downplay the incursions that she called “a spike in activity,” telling the Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz that the flights were assessed as routine training missions and exercises.

But an unnamed defense official familiar with the incursion reports disagreed with Smith’s assessment. “These are not just training missions,” the official told Gertz, saying that Russian strategic nuclear forces appear to be “trying…

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