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

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 30, 2015 3:09 PM

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-142 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-142s moved away from the U.S. carrier.

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

(In Oct. 29 item, corrects aircraft type to TU-142, not TU-145, in paragraphs 4-5)

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