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    From Russia with bombs: CF-18s intercepted plane on eve of Obama visit - Yahoo! Canada News

    From Russia with bombs: CF-18s intercepted plane on eve of Obama visit

    By Stephen Thorne, The Canadian Press


    OTTAWA - Canadian fighter jets were scrambled to intercept a snooping Russian bomber over the High Arctic on the eve of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Ottawa last week.

    "At no time did Russian planes enter Canadian airspace," Defence Minister Peter MacKay told a news conference Friday. "But within 24 hours of the president's visit to Canada last week we did scramble two F-18 fighter planes.

    "They met. The Russian aircraft was approaching Canadian airspace and, as they have done on previous occasions, (the Canadians) sent very clear signals that were understood: that aircraft was to turn tail and head back to its own airspace. Which it did."

    The CF-18s took off from Cold Lake, Alta., on Feb. 18 after Norad detected the Cold War-era, long-range bomber known as a Bear headed for Canadian airspace. While the lumbering aircraft never entered North American airspace, MacKay suggested the flight's timing was suspect.

    "I'm not going to stand here and accuse the Russians of deliberately doing this during the presidential visit," he said. "But it was a strong coincidence, which we met with the presence, as we always do, of F-18 fighter planes and world-class pilots that know their business."

    They sent a signal, MacKay said, that the Russians should "back off and stay out of our airspace."

    Russian aircraft regularly probed into North American airspace during the Cold War and Canadian and American fighters routinely tracked the snoopers and escorted them back into international air space.

    Such flights were suspended for years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but resumed in recent years as Russia pushed its claim on the Arctic and oil wealth allowed the country to spend more on its military.

    Last summer, then-foreign affairs minister David Emerson said Russian intrusions into Canadian air space had greatly increased.

    U.S. air force Gen. Gene Renuart, head of the North American Aerospace Defence Command, said pilots use internationally recognized signals to head off such incursions, including rocking wings, turning in front of the bombers and issuing radio warnings.

    "While we do not speak the common language, they are trained in those common signals just as we are," said Renuart. "To date, those have been effective in deviating or deterring those aircraft from entering into either Canadian or American airspace."

    The Russian pilots have been "professional" in their conduct, he added, but it's important for Canada and the United States to maintain "that solid, integrated air defence posture that we have."

    MacKay said the Russians give no warning prior to the flights. Canadian government officials, including MacKay, have asked the Russian ambassador and defence minister to give Ottawa notice of such flights. The requests have fallen on deaf ears.

    "They simply show up on a radar screen," the minister said. "This is not a game at all.

    "These aircraft approaching Canadian airspace are viewed very seriously."

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  • #2
    Anyone else think Canada and the USA should take this as a sign of aggression, cause i do. I think we should drop off a couple Patriot Batteries up there and maybe an airbase in The Northwest Territories Or Nunavut. I'm Canadian by the way and i think we need to protect our boarders more.


    • #3
      canada is a neutral country right?
      thanks dad for showing me the way, teaching me the language, and not leaving my mother...*L*

      *RoUg3 MoD sTaTuS*


      • #4
        when the two native pilots left to chase the russians they were talkin on the radio..

        hey eh.. did youz go over to kits rounddance?

        ahh nooo, holay my ole troat was just sore last night. did youz guys head on over??

        yeah, holay there was just tons of people there too.

        native pilot to russian pilots..

        hey youz are going the wrong way!!
        thanks dad for showing me the way, teaching me the language, and not leaving my mother...*L*

        *RoUg3 MoD sTaTuS*


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