February 11, 2008
WASHINGTON (CNN) — American fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers, one of which buzzed a U.S. aircraft carrier in the western Pacific over the weekend, U.S. military officials told CNN Monday.
One of them twice flew about 2,000 feet over the deck of the USS Nimitz Saturday while another flew about 50 miles away, officials said. Two others were at least 100 miles away, the military reported.
U.S. Defense officials said four F/A-18A fighter jets from the Nimitz were in the air.
The Russians and the U.S. cartrier did not exchange verbal communications. VideoWatch U.S. aircraft carrier USS Nimitz »
Four turboprop Tupolev-95 Bear bombers took off from Ukrainka air base, in Russia’s Far East, in the middle of the night, Japanese officials told The Associated Press, adding that one of the jets violated Japanese airspace.
Russian bombers have been making flights over the western Pacific for several months. In September, two U.S. F-15 fighters scrambled to intercept a plane that came within 50 miles of the coastline.
There have been eight incidents off Alaska since July. Among the latest, on September 5, six F-15s from Elmendorf Air Force Base, adjacent to Anchorage, Alaska, intercepted six Russian bombers about 50 miles from the northwest coast of Alaska.
Two similar incidents occurred in August, one near Cape Lisburne, Alaska, and the other near Cold Bay, Alaska, west of the Aleutian Islands.