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Posted: 8/9/2007 12:25:45 PM EDT


www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/08/09/russia.sorties.reut/index.html

MOSCOW, Russia (Reuters) -- Russia's strategic bombers have resumed the Soviet Union's Cold War practice of flying long-haul missions to areas patrolled by NATO and the United States, generals said on Thursday.


A Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber, the type of plane used on long-range sorties into areas patrolled by NATO.

A Russian bomber flew over a U.S. military base on the Pacific island of Guam on Wednesday and "exchanged smiles" with U.S. pilots who had scrambled to track it, said Maj. Gen. Pavel Androsov, head of long-range aviation in the Russian air force.

"It has always been the tradition of our long-range aviation to fly far into the ocean, to meet [U.S.] aircraft carriers and greet [U.S. pilots] visually," Androsov told a news conference.

"Yesterday we revived this tradition, and two of our young crews paid a visit to the area of the [U.S. Pacific Naval Activities] base of Guam," he said.

President Vladimir Putin has sought to make Russia more assertive in the world.

Putin has boosted defense spending and sought to raise morale in the armed forces, which were starved of funding in the chaos that followed the fall of the Soviet Union.

Androsov said the sortie by the two turboprop Tu-95MS bombers, from a base near Blagoveshchensk in the Far East, had lasted for 13 hours. The Tu-95, codenamed "Bear" by NATO, is Russia's Cold War icon and may stay in service until 2040.

"I think the result was good. We met our colleagues -- fighter jet pilots from [U.S.] aircraft carriers. We exchanged smiles and returned home," Androsov said.

U.S. officials told CNN, however, that the two bombers came no closer than 100 miles to any U.S. aircraft and no closer than 300 miles to the Navy ships, and that there was no visual contact.

Ivan Safranchuk, Moscow office director of the Washington-based World Security Institute, said he saw nothing extraordinary in Moscow sending its bombers around the globe.

"This practice as such never stopped, it was only scaled down because there was less cash available for that," he said. "It doesn't cost much to flex your muscles ... You can burn fuel flying over your own land or you can do it flying somewhere like Guam, in which case political dividends will be higher."

The bombers give Russia the capability of launching a devastating nuclear strike even if the nuclear arsenals on its own territory are wiped out.

During the Cold War, they played elaborate airborne games of cat-and-mouse with Western air forces.

Lt. Gen. Igor Khvorov, air force chief of staff, said the West would have to come to terms with Russia asserting its geopolitical presence around the globe.

"But I don't see anything unusual, this is business as usual ... like it is normal for the U.S. to fly from its continent to Guam or, say, the island of [Diego]Garcia," Khvorov said, referring to a remote Indian Ocean atoll used as a military base by the U.S.

On Wednesday,young pilots of strategic bombers passed a series of tests, including missile launches. "We fired eight cruise missiles, and all hit bull's eye," Khvorov said.

He said one crew had taken off from Engels in southwestern Russia, hit a target in the north and then flown thousands of kilometers before finally landing in the Far East.

Engels is home to Russia's supersonic Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers, in service since 1987 and codenamed "Blackjack" by NATO while called "White Swan" by Russian pilots.

The generals said under Putin long-range aviation was no longer hindered by a lack of fuel, the aircraft enjoyed better maintenance and the crews much higher wages -- not the least because the Kremlin leader once made a five-hour sortie as part of a "White Swan" crew.

"The president learned about the pilots' work the hard way," Khvorov said. "This one flight yielded an awful lot."


I wonder if while exchanging smiles, they were close enough to look into their eyes, and see their souls?
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:27:49 PM EDT
WTF is Ivan playing at, I wonder.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:28:01 PM EDT
we should shot them down and see what happens
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:29:50 PM EDT
WOLVERINES!!!
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:31:12 PM EDT
We had better forget about Iraq & start to worry about the damn Russians & stop pretending to be friends with them.

Like a friend of mine in CA says, better buy ammo!

Mike
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:32:30 PM EDT
This is not a good sign.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:33:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By khaos1985:
we should shot them down and see what happens


+1
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:36:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By opti12206:
This is not a good sign.
They didn't exchange peace signs?
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:39:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MMcCall:WTF is Ivan playing at, I wonder.


Britain told them to bugger off?

Russia is becoming more assertive. Since the 18th century Russia has been considered a 'Great Power'. The fall of the USSR put that on hold, & now that they have oil money, they're back. Playing the strong Anti-American world citizen is good for their international prestige, which makes good domestic politics.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:41:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MMcCall:
WTF is Ivan playing at, I wonder.




Maybe they were trying to defect?
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:43:10 PM EDT
No surprises. Ol' Putin has had a hankerin' to revive the Cold War for some time now. It's just worth remembering that this time the iron curtain will be alot further to the east!

Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:43:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By opti12206:
This is not a good sign.


You're right, its a great sign! Game on! Fuck you Russia!
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:47:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By VTwin60:

Originally Posted By opti12206:
This is not a good sign.


You're right, its a great sign! Game on! Fuck you Russia!


+1; Oh, is on, B*tch!
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:51:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By VTwin60:

Originally Posted By opti12206:
This is not a good sign.


You're right, its a great sign! Game on! Fuck you Russia!


Actually... I wish it was the Chinese that were clinkin' their sabres. I'd much rather see hostilities vs the Chinese than the Russians (that is, IF hostilies have to happen ).

Fuck you, China!!!
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:51:06 PM EDT
I'm sure they exchanged signs, but not the
peace sign.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:52:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By opti12206:
This is not a good sign.



+1. Lately, russia has (basically) been giving America the gigantic middle finger/one finger salute. This latest incident is just a continuation of this.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:55:37 PM EDT
Pootie-Poot is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

They were PROPELLER driven "bombers".

Russians werew shitting on the cockpit seat when a couple US fast movers that never showed up on Russian radar dove in on them, and cleaned their cockpit plexiglass with jetwash on afterburner.

US pilots were laughing their asses off at Russians driving planes held together with bubblegum and baling wire.

Pootie gets to strut around feeling all big and bad, but he knows he can't stop Poland from singking NMD silos, negating the only real threat Russia has left, their ICBM force.

Pretty pathetic, really.

Link Posted: 8/9/2007 12:56:28 PM EDT
The bear is a cool airplane. Im glad russia is acting like its old self again. It gives our pilots something to engage.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 1:06:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MMcCall:
WTF is Ivan playing at, I wonder.


Like an old man rattling a rusty sabre.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 1:09:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2007 1:09:45 PM EDT by realwar]
Those Russian bombers are POS's.They would not only make good targets for our fighters but IF they ever got a missle off it would be intercepted by that new laser/747 we got.Whats that name again?
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 1:12:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2007 1:13:13 PM EDT by illini52]


Bring Back SAC!
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 1:14:16 PM EDT



The Tu-95, codenamed "Bear" by NATO, is Russia's Cold War icon and may stay in service until 2040.


Link Posted: 8/9/2007 1:15:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mateba:
I wonder if while exchanging smiles, they were close enough to look into their eyes, and see their souls?


Link Posted: 8/9/2007 1:17:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MACD:



The Tu-95, codenamed "Bear" by NATO, is Russia's Cold War icon and may stay in service until 2040.




That's how long the USAF wants to keep the B-52 in service for. Both planes are just about the same age.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 1:17:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MACD:



The Tu-95, codenamed "Bear" by NATO, is Russia's Cold War icon and may stay in service until 2040.




LORD... What by that time we may have a hypersonic stealth bomber... and they will still be fielding these Then again we will still be using B-52's sooooo.. anyway, I believe we would win the air war with russia, and if we gained air superiority, we can take control of the ground.


Link Posted: 8/9/2007 1:27:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By illini52:

Originally Posted By MACD:



The Tu-95, codenamed "Bear" by NATO, is Russia's Cold War icon and may stay in service until 2040.




That's how long the USAF wants to keep the B-52 in service for. Both planes are just about the same age.


Somehow I doubt there's an equivalent continuous improvement program in place for the Bear.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 1:28:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:

Originally Posted By MMcCall:
WTF is Ivan playing at, I wonder.


upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/bf/The_Hunt_for_Red_October_movie_poster.JPG/200px-The_Hunt_for_Red_October_movie_poster.JPG

Maybe they were trying to defect?


"Flash the landing lights at them, Yuri.. One blink only."
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 1:37:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MMcCall:

Originally Posted By illini52:

Originally Posted By MACD:



The Tu-95, codenamed "Bear" by NATO, is Russia's Cold War icon and may stay in service until 2040.




That's how long the USAF wants to keep the B-52 in service for. Both planes are just about the same age.


Somehow I doubt there's an equivalent continuous improvement program in place for the Bear.


And a stealth replacement already in service...
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 1:37:25 PM EDT
Like the annoying gnat at a barbecue or the nosy neighbor peeking over the fence...the Tupolev Tu-95/142 Bear rises to the occasion.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 1:59:52 PM EDT
There is no need for concern, president Bush said he looked in president Putin's eyes and saw a man he could trust.

Really, so just trust president Bush's judgement and go on with your life.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 2:05:33 PM EDT

Bring Back SAC!



It never went away. Its just a unified command...STRATCOM. Though they should have named it STRIKECOM after the first unified command.

But the USAF knows next to nothing about tradition.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 2:11:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Screechjet1:

Bring Back SAC!



It never went away. Its just a unified command...STRATCOM. Though they should have named it STRIKECOM after the first unified command.

But the USAF knows next to nothing about tradition.


As demonstrated by the Uniform-go-round
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 2:16:04 PM EDT

As demonstrated by the Uniform-go-round



I really can't say anything about the uniform thing, as the Nav has done very poorly by our Sailors on the uniform front. But that's a failure of the Senior Enlisted Leadership.

I'll be happen when they bring back dress khaki.

As far as the Bear goes, its reasonably creditable cruise missile carrier and recon asset, though I wouldn't want to fly one. I enjoy hearing.

I just wonder if the NorKs have asked the Russians to do some Recon in the area.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 2:17:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2007 2:17:16 PM EDT by jmt1271]
Cool, I miss the cold war. It reminds me of RWR. God rest his soul.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 2:45:37 PM EDT
I hope the new Cold war is as good as the old one.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 2:49:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By khaos1985:
we should shot them down and see what happens



then they would have to admit that they where closer than 100 miles.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 2:53:47 PM EDT
The must have been reading all the threads about how much the F-22 sucks.

Meat for the meat eaters I say.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 2:53:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By illini52:
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e4/Russian_intercept_a.jpg/800px-Russian_intercept_a.jpg

Bring Back SAC!


Once you've been sacemsized, you can never go back!
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 2:57:47 PM EDT
Gotta love it when Russia still wants to be "important"
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 2:58:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MMcCall:

Originally Posted By illini52:

Originally Posted By MACD:



The Tu-95, codenamed "Bear" by NATO, is Russia's Cold War icon and may stay in service until 2040.




That's how long the USAF wants to keep the B-52 in service for. Both planes are just about the same age.


Somehow I doubt there's an equivalent continuous improvement program in place for the Bear.
yah there is its is known as the duct tape and glue upgrade.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 3:05:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bloodmoon:

Originally Posted By MMcCall:

Originally Posted By illini52:

Originally Posted By MACD:



The Tu-95, codenamed "Bear" by NATO, is Russia's Cold War icon and may stay in service until 2040.




That's how long the USAF wants to keep the B-52 in service for. Both planes are just about the same age.


Somehow I doubt there's an equivalent continuous improvement program in place for the Bear.
yah there is its is known as the duct tape and glue upgrade.


The Russians are just being realistic and realize that the era of teh monster air p0w3r!!!1!!1one is over. Already reports of SAMs capable of finding our vaunted F-22s, 35s and B-2s.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 3:06:58 PM EDT

Remeber a few years ago when that American aircraft was off the coast of China full of nifty gear to listen in on Chinese conversations. It supposenly rammed a Chinese jet then ended up in China being taken apart. Well that old thing was a proppeller driven EP-3E Aries II. Taking the Russia lead, we should have used a B-52 instead.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 3:22:23 PM EDT
At the end of the day while Russia is certainly a threat it will never be a superpower again. Russian GDP isn't even a trillion $. At the most generous estimates about 7% of US GDP. It has a dying population, dropping by 500,000 to 700,000 a year. Life expectancy for men isn't even 60. By Russia's own estimates their population will drop to about 110m by 2050 while US population will hit about 500m by then.

While it has received a lot of money from oil and gas over the last few years Russian oil infrastructure is decaying and in need of serious investment to even keep up with current output. Outside a few fancy suburbs of Moscow and St Petersburg the country's infrastructure is crumbling and hasn't received decent investment since the 1960's.

The Russian army more closely resembles a prison gang of rapists, murderers, drug traffickers and extortionists than a professional army. They might still make good hardware but they have little ability to field much of it themselves.

What must hurt them most is that at no time since WWII ended has Russia had less influence in Europe. Of the former Warsaw Pact countries all of them, except Russia obviously, have joined NATO, with the expception of Albania who is due to join by the end of 2008. Eastern European countries are looking to the EU and NATO not the failed thug to the East. They can't even terrorise a small Baltic state in to doing their bidding anymore and even Belarus is going cold on them. Outside the Caucus states Russia is a weak influence in Europe. Germany, France and Britain all wield more influence than Russia in Europe.

The combined GDP of the EU/NATO countries is over $30 trillion. It's a sad and pathetic sight watching Putin flap Russia's arms around screaming "look at me! look at me!" Russia is a regional European power with virtually no friends or allies anywhere in the world. Hopefully they don't decide to lash out at some point like the whiny child they are to get more attention.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 3:23:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MMcCall:
WTF is Ivan playing at, I wonder.


This shit happened all the time in the Cold War.

Nothing new here.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 3:24:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By illini52:
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e4/Russian_intercept_a.jpg/800px-Russian_intercept_a.jpg

Bring Back SAC!


Thats probably a TAC F-15 anyway...
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 3:32:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paveway_:

Originally Posted By MMcCall:
WTF is Ivan playing at, I wonder.


This shit happened all the time in the Cold War.

Nothing new here.


Right, but this isn't the Cold War, and Russia isn't the Soviet Union.

This level of multiple incursions (Georgia) and near-incursions (UK, Guam) is unprecedented over the last 10-15 years.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 3:38:16 PM EDT
WF'ingDo... They & Us do this stuff all the time. AF says they didn't intercept it.
They should have sent up a B52 from Guam to intercept it; that would be a cool formation pic ! Buff & Bear
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 3:39:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Slogger78:
At the end of the day while Russia is certainly a threat it will never be a superpower again. Russian GDP isn't even a trillion $. At the most generous estimates about 7% of US GDP. It has a dying population, dropping by 500,000 to 700,000 a year. Life expectancy for men isn't even 60. By Russia's own estimates their population will drop to about 110m by 2050 while US population will hit about 500m by then.


Russia is actually in the beginning of a baby boom.
Russian baby boom bodes well for economy Life expectancy is still a problem, though. As the economy improves and people start having kids again, that too will improve. And how much of that 500 mil do you think will be hard working citizens and how much will belong to the lumpenprole classes?



While it has received a lot of money from oil and gas over the last few years Russian oil infrastructure is decaying and in need of serious investment to even keep up with current output. Outside a few fancy suburbs of Moscow and St Petersburg the country's infrastructure is crumbling and hasn't received decent investment since the 1960's.

The Russian army more closely resembles a prison gang of rapists, murderers, drug traffickers and extortionists than a professional army. They might still make good hardware but they have little ability to field much of it themselves.


Despite hardcore set backs - the Russians ultimately prosecuted Chechnya infinitely better than we're doing in either of our conflicts. There are also ongoing attempts to professionalize the army by introducing (for the first time ever in Russia) an NCO corps.



What must hurt them most is that at no time since WWII ended has Russia had less influence in Europe. Of the former Warsaw Pact countries all of them, except Russia obviously, have joined NATO, with the expception of Albania who is due to join by the end of 2008. Eastern European countries are looking to the EU and NATO not the failed thug to the East. They can't even terrorise a small Baltic state in to doing their bidding anymore and even Belarus is going cold on them. Outside the Caucus states Russia is a weak influence in Europe. Germany, France and Britain all wield more influence than Russia in Europe.


Oil is life. In Europe, increasingly, Russia controls the oil.
Blackmail fear after Russia doubles the price of oil



The combined GDP of the EU/NATO countries is over $30 trillion. It's a sad and pathetic sight watching Putin flap Russia's arms around screaming "look at me! look at me!" Russia is a regional European power with virtually no friends or allies anywhere in the world. Hopefully they don't decide to lash out at some point like the whiny child they are to get more attention.


No friends except for China, Iran, lots in the Mid East, more in south Asia.

Please rethink. Underestimating the Russians has proven to be a fatal mistake for many an empire.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 4:07:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paveway_:

Originally Posted By MMcCall:

Originally Posted By Paveway_:

Originally Posted By MMcCall:
WTF is Ivan playing at, I wonder.


This shit happened all the time in the Cold War.

Nothing new here.


Right, but this isn't the Cold War, and Russia isn't the Soviet Union.

This level of multiple incursions (Georgia) and near-incursions (UK, Guam) is unprecedented over the last 10-15 years.


Just because they bothered making some birds airworthy and keeping them that way.

Those Bears were barely survivable in the 1980's much less now.

Its ALL show and no teeth.


Neither was that 1960's propeller driven intelligence plane America sent off of China in 2001. It is not so much how dangerous is the aircraft, it is how will America respond. We remind them to not press there luck, then peace will be secured. Otherwise they might be tempted to go nibbling on their neighbors.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 4:11:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BillSouthCarolina:
There is no need for concern, president Bush said he looked in president Putin's eyes and saw a man he could trust.

Really, so just trust president Bush's judgement and go on with your life.


LOL at that rate we're fucked... following sheep won't get you anywhere....
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 4:21:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paveway_:
Just because they bothered making some birds airworthy and keeping them that way.

Those Bears were barely survivable in the 1980's much less now.

Its ALL show and no teeth.


No, you're right about the aircraft themselves.. I'm just curious what the change in thought process is all about.
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