U.S. Navy scrambled jets after Russian planes approached carrier: official

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 29, 2015 11:15 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier scrambled four F-18 jets on Tuesday after two Russian anti-submarine aircraft flew within a nautical mile of the warship, a Navy official said on Thursday.

News media reports said the incident occurred in international waters east of the Korean peninsula.

A U.S. Navy official said two Russian TU-142 "Bear" aircraft flew within a nautical mile of the Reagan, prompting it to launch four F-18 fighter jets to escort the planes away from the ship.

The TU-145 Bear is a long-range anti-submarine warfare plane and a variant of the Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber.

The Navy official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the pilots from both sides behaved professionally and the Tu-145s moved away from the U.S. carrier.

Media accounts quoted Navy officials as saying the incident was not unprecedented.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)