Two Tupolev Tu-142 Bear aircraft flew suspiciously close to USS Ronald Reagan off the international waters east of the Korean Peninsula on Oct. 27. The 7th Fleet immediately scrambled four of its F/A-18 Super Hornets from the USS Ronald Reagan deck.
While there had been many incidents in the past of Russian aircraft flying closely to U.S. warships, the incident on Tuesday was particularly alarming because it happens after Russian submarines were found to be monitoring underground U.S. internet cables (Even Intelligence Officials fear WW3). The incident also happened after reports emerged saying Russian military fleet were already 300 miles within U.S. mainland amidst reports that the ongoing fight with the ISIS in Syria is a proxy war between Russia and the U.S.
According to a report from Stars and Stripes, two Russian Tupolev Tu-142 Bear aircraft flew within one nautical mile of USS Ronald Reagan. That was as low as 500 feet, spokeswoman Lt. Lauren Cole explained. The 7th fleet monitored the Russian aircraft closely after it launched four Super Hornets to trail after them. Cole said the 7th fleet made all attempts to communicate with the pilots of the Tupolev Tu-142 but to no avail. Nevertheless, the fleet sent a ship to escort the planes until they withdraw. The incident would have been usual except that the Russian aircraft refused to communicate via two-way radio, Stars and Stripes noted.
Hypothetically, if the Russian aircrafts were supposed to attack USS Ronald Reagan, it could have attacked an important seat of U.S. military operation. The 7th Fleet that operates the USS Ronald Reagan is in charge of more than 48 million square miles from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south, and from the International Date Line to the 68th meridian east, which runs from the India-Pakistan border. The area has 36 maritime countries and the world’s five largest foreign armed forces, namely People’s Republic of China, Russia, India, North Korea and Republic of Korea; and five of the seven U.S. Mutual Defense Treaties namely Republic of the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Japan, and Thailand.
Spokeswoman Cole explained that they have no objections if Russian flies fly in the area. However, such activity should be done in accordance with the rights and regulations of other countries, and within a safe manner.