US Navy scrambled jets after Russian planes approached carrier

A US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter lands onto the deck of the USS Ronald Reagan, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, during a joint naval drill between South Korea and the US in the West Sea off South Korea on Oct 28, 2015.
A US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter lands onto the deck of the USS Ronald Reagan, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, during a joint naval drill between South Korea and the US in the West Sea off South Korea on Oct 28, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A US Navy aircraft carrier scrambled four F-18 jets on Tuesday after two Russian anti-submarine aircraft flew within a nautical mile of the warship, a Navy official said on Thursday (Oct 29).

News media reports said the incident occurred in international waters east of the Korean peninsula.

A US Navy official said two Russian TU-142 "Bear" aircraft flew within a nautical mile of the Reagan, prompting it to launch four F-18 fighter jets to escort the planes away from the ship.

The TU-145 Bear is a long-range anti-submarine warfare plane and a variant of the Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber.

The Navy official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the pilots from both sides behaved professionally and the Tu-145s moved away from the US carrier.

Media accounts quoted Navy officials as saying the incident was not unprecedented.