In a lame attempt at geopolitical intimidation, Russia again flies its Bear bombers very, very close to the sovereign airspace of other countries. The real symbolism here, however, comes from the fact these propeller-driven planes—yes, the very same aircraft we used to intercept with F-4s—are getting escorted out of the club by a couple Lockheed-Martin F-22A Raptors.
How we doin’?
Fact is, the Russians have flown these near-border flights regularly since Cold War days. They serve both as a flex tactic and surveillance mission, as these bombers are most certainly outfitted with numerous reconnaissance sensors.
Knowing this, American airmen have had some fun with their old adversaries, and continually show that the real military muscle is with the good guys.
As a note, a few minutes ago, while I was reading about Russian nuclear weapons, a Russian classmate of mine “happened” to knock on my door to “see how I was doing.”
Copy that, Mr. Putin, and touché.