Friday, August 23, 2013

Russian AF Bears bring about JASDF interceptors (again)

Tu-95MS Bear photographed by intercepting Japanese fighters (Japanese MoD photo). Click on image for high-res version

Japan has lodged a formal complaint with Russia regarding the intrusion into Japanese airspace by a pair of Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-95MS Bear bombers near Fukuoka in Japan's main southern island of Kyushu.

According to the press release (in Japanese) issued by the Japanese Ministry of Defense, the instrusion took place on the 22nd of August between 1209 and 1211 local time. The bombers were intercepted by Mitsubishi F-2 fighters, almost certainly from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force's 6th Hikotai based at Tsuiki.

Bear tracks (in red)

It has become something of a scripted event in recent times. Whenever Japan brings up the issue of the disputed Kuril Islands that were seized by the former Soviet Union in the closing days of World War II, Russia sends over its military aircraft to buzz Japan.

I reckon it's like the 1980s movie Beetlejuice, and Japan saying "Kurile Islands" is saying "Beetlejuice" 3 times in the movie, with the difference being that saying the former brings Russian aircraft to Japan's doorstep.

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