Russia surprised by West's concern of Tu142 flight over US carrier

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Moscow, Mar 6 (UNI) Russian Navy has expressed surprise about the concern shown by Western media regarding the the flight of Tu142 military plane over the US aircraft carrier Nimitz, the Navy spokesman said today.

''Some Western media reports that called the flight of the Tu-142 plane in the vicinity of the US aircraft carrier 'an incident' are surprising,'' Russian Navy's spokesman Captain First Class Igor Dygalo Russian news agencies.

Captain Dygalo said the plane, assigned to Russia's Pacific Fleet, was on a routine patrol flight over the Sea of Japan, conducted in strict compliance with international regulations on the use of airspace over neutral waters.

''It is common practice,'' the Navy spokesman said, adding that two US F/A-18 fighters and several Japanese F-2 and F-16 accompanied the Russian ASW plane during the flight.

Tu-142 Bear-F is the maritime reconnaissance/strike version of the Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber, designed mainly for anti-submarine warfare (ASW).

Western media earlier quoted US officials as saying a Russian bomber came within three to five nautical miles and flew 2,000 feet above the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier off the Korean coast.

A similar incident had occurred last month.

UNI XC SR AS2047

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