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Feb 12,2008
Russia says plane didn't violate air space
by UPI

TOKYO - Flight regulations weren't violated when a Russian bomber buzzed a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean, Russia's Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

A ministry official said the flights are standard procedure for the country's air force training, CNN reported.

The Russian Tupolev 95 propeller bomber flew over the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier twice Saturday. The flyovers occurred as the Nimitz and accompanying ships were heading to Japan for a long-scheduled visit. The bomber was one of four detected about 500 miles from the U.S. Navy battle group.

Two of the four flew along the Japanese coast but four U.S. F-18A fighters were launched and intercepted the other two bombers about 50 miles away, CNN said. One bomber went into a circling maneuver but the other flew almost directly over the carrier at an altitude of 2,000 feet from the Nimitz's deck.

There were no verbal communications between the U.S. and Russian pilots, a U.S. official said.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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