Pacific Command head Admiral Samuel Locklear today said the Pentagon is growing increasingly concerned by Russian long-range bomber flights that move near the US air defense identification zone, calling it a return to “Cold War-style activity.”
Though couching the situation as a new and alarming situation, Russian bomber flights near US airspace are nothing new, and seems to happen a few times a year.
Whether those flights spark an expression of “alarm” or not depends on whether the Pentagon is pushing the idea of Russia as a potential military enemy, or at least of the Pacific Command needing more Air Force assets.
Dubbed “Russian Bear” bombers by the Pentagon and NATO, the Tupolev Tu-95 are actually aging prop planes which were introduced in the 1950s. In addition to being used as a strategic bomber, the Tu-95 is also commonly used for maritime surveillance