28 Jun '14, 7pm

Interceptions Rise as Russia Boosts Air Power

Interceptions Rise as Russia Boosts Air Power

WASHINGTON — The Russian Air Force is upgrading its long-range aircraft, making the decades-old planes more lethal amid increasing encounters near US airspace, a top US general responsible for defending the American and Canadian airspace said. “They are much, much better than they ever were during the Cold War,” Gen. Charles Jacoby, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and US Northern Command, said in an interview. “One of the things we have seen is that it’s increasingly sophisticated [and] increasingly capable,” he said. US and NATO aircraft have been intercepting Tu-95 Bear, Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-22 Backfire strategic bombers and numerous fighter aircraft since 2007 when the Russian Air Force resumed long-range aviation missions, which had stopped at the end of the Cold War. “We’ve seen it go up and down a little bit, but steadily increase over th...

Full article: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140628/DEFREG02/3062...

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