In the past few months, I’ve had a few posts about Russia’s stepped up Tu-95 patrols – first near Norway and the UK, and then more recently when they met up with Alaskan F-22’s for the first time. Such interaction among the world’s air forces was a routine occurrence during the Cold War, but the past few years have seen a lull in this sort of activity.
I suppose that explains the nervous nellie coverage (e.g., a, b, and c) one can see in the news relating to the overflight of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz this past week by a Tu-95. Crossing twice at around 2,000, with no verbal communications on either side, this seems to me so be standard cage rattling behavior. Still, the Gertz’s of the world fret about the Navy’s wimpy leadership in the face of such provocations. I don’t buy that. I think this sort of restraint represents maturity. Russia and its aircrews are under no illusion that the JASDF F-15s and USN F-18s couldn’t have downed all four Bears had they so wished.
Still, it does make for some good pictures.
If you like this, I encourage you to check out this summary of all of the aviation photography I have featured here.