Reminiscent of a scene out of the 1980’s classic naval aviation film “Top Gun,” U.S. fighter jets recently had to scramble to intercept Russian planes flying dangerously close to a U.S. aircraft carrier.
According to Stars and Stripes, the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan was conducting maneuvers with South Korean forces in international waters when it was approached by two low-flying Russian Tupolev Tu-142 Bears on Tuesday morning.
The Russian bombers, which also serve as reconnaissance planes, flew within one nautical mile of the floating airport, prompting the immediate launch of four F/A-18 Super Hornets to intercept and turn back the Russian planes.
While the Reagan monitored the Russian aircraft, it made contact with both Korean and Japanese forces in the area. The Russian planes refused to respond to repeated attempts to contact them, nor has the Russian government offered any explanation for the incident.
This is just the latest in a series of airspace violations and “provocative” encroachments by Russian aircraft and naval vessels over the past year, as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to flex his muscles in the face of President Barack Obama’s weakness.
As tensions increase around the world and a seeming resurgence of the Cold War has been reignited, let us hope that cooler heads prevail and wise leaders will walk us back from this dangerous game of brinksmanship.