This is really strange and nobody is talking about it: the Russians are getting their Tu-95 Bear strategic nuclear bombers deep into European airspace without permission. This video shows how two Dutch F-16 intercepted one a few days ago.
This is happening two years after Russia decided to re-deploy their Bear bombers in Cuba and Venezuela and resume their 1950-style patrols all over the world.
The Bears enter European airspace without asking for permission. In the latest case, NATO forces had to scramble interceptors to shadow them all the way from Denmark until the Dutch fighters that recorded this video intercepted them over the Netherlands. Fortunately, we are not in the Cold War days anymore (are we?) as any of these incidents would have initiated a serious conflict.
The Russian authorities have not given any explanation about these bomber flights, but they keep testing the waters without seemingly caring about the consequences. NATO is limiting itself to escort them out of the airspace but, according to Ares, this is already the fourth time that NATO has intercepted Tu-95 over European skies in 2011 alone.
The Tupolev Tu-95 is a four-engine turboprop-powered nuclear strategic bomber and missile platform created in 1956. But don't let the (really cool) old school design and (awesome) turboprops with eight-bladed contra-rotating propellers fool you. These death-carrying beasts are nothing to laugh at and they will be in service until 2040. [Wikipedia and Ares via Defense Tech ].
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