According to the official representative of the department Vladimir Drik, four Tu-95MS of the Russian Air Force, raised from the Ukrainka airfields in the Amur Region and Yelizovo in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, successfully flew over neutral waters in the north-eastern Pacific. According to him, the duration of the flight of pairs of aircraft was 13 and 20 hours, respectively, reports Interfax.
Crews have mastered the skills of flying over an unoriented terrain, as well as performed passing and counter refueling in the air from Il-78 tanker aircraft to reach the western shores of the Aleutian Islands and patrol along the Alaska coast, said Drik. "Over the neutral waters, throughout the flight, the planes were accompanied by two F-15 fighter jets of the USAF," he noted.
In the Russian military department, as always, they emphasize that all flights of the aircraft of the Air Force of the Russian Federation were carried out and are carried out in strict accordance with the international rules for using airspace over neutral waters, and do not violate the borders of other states.
Recently, during the period from June 19 to 21, the Air Force, Russia conducted flight tactical exercises in the Arctic Ocean. They were attended by about 30 aircraft of the Far aviationincluding Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers, Su-27 and MiG-31 fighters, Il-78 tankers and A-50 radar patrol and guidance aircraft.
According to the American press, Russian military aircraft during these exercises visited including international airspace off the coast of Alaska, and then they were also accompanied by F-15 fighter jets of the USAF. The American media described it as “another sign of Russia’s tougher stance against the US,” and even almost as a herald of ending the “reset” policy in Russian-American relations, ITAR-TASS reports.
However, the head of Pengaton Leon Panetta, commenting on these publications to journalists, said that the United States did not see anything provocative in these exercises of the Russian Air Force. “As for airplanes (Russian Air Force), sometimes studying the north (USA and Canada), there is nothing unusual in this situation,” Panetta said.
The head of the Committee of the Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, General Martin Dempsey, spoke in a similar vein. According to him, the United States and Canada "from time to time" jointly monitor the exercises of the Russian Air Force in these areas for any "changes or signals of any kind" from Moscow to Washington or Ottawa. “And so far we have not come to the conclusion that this is a signal of a certain kind,” said Dempsey.