The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported that the Japan Air Self-Defense Force launched fighter jets to intercept Russian Tu-95 nuclear capable strategic bombers that were approaching Japanese airspace. It is also being reported that the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has increased its threat posture due to the incident.
According to the information provided by the MoD, the three Tu-95 bombers flew along the perimeter of Japan’s territorial airspace, circumnavigating the major islands — Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu — of the Japanese archipelago. Japanese airspace was allegedly not violated during yesterday’s bomber patrol by the Russian Aerospace Forces.
The last time JASDF had to scramble fighter jets in response to Russian bomber incursions occurred a year ago, in January 2016, when two Russian Tu-95 bombers circled Japan’s major islands on a similar flight path to yesterday’s patrol. In March 2015, Russian strategic bombers also patrolled the skies in close vicinity to the Ryukyu Islands.” – The Diplomat
On July 4, 2015 Russian Tu-95 Bombers flew within 4o miles of the coast of California and off the coast of Alaska. They were intercepted by F-15’s and F-22’s. According to a NORAD spokesperson one of the Russian pilots said to the American aircraft, “Good morning American pilots. We are here to greet you on your Fourth of July Independence Day.”
Featured image of an F-15 Eagle from the 12th Fighter Squadron flying next to a Russian Tu-95 Bear Bomber by US Air Force