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The Russian Federation flew a pair of Tupolev Tu-95 “Bear” bombers within 100 miles of Alaska late Monday – forcing the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to scramble two F-22 Raptor stealth fighters in response.

The American fighters – and an E-3 airborne early warning plane – intercepted the Russian bombers and flew alongside them for nearly twelve minutes, according to Fox News.

The 1950s-era turboprop planes – which happen to be the only propellor-powered strategic bombers still in operation – never entered American air space and returned to their base in eastern Russia without incident.

Has this ever happened before?  Yes.  On July 4, 2015, a pair of Russian bombers came within forty miles of the California coast – prompting a similar American response.  Of course that incident took place against a backdrop of generally positive relations between the United States and Russia.

Relations today are far from positive … especially after U.S. president Donald Trump’s decision to poke the Russian bear in Syria (which prompted a predictable response).

UPDATE: They’re baaaaaaack!

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