MOSCOW, June 19. /TASS/. Aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Force scramble almost ten times more frequently today than three years ago to intercept foreign military planes near Russian borders, First Deputy Chief of the Defense Ministry’s Main Department for International Military Cooperation Yevgeny Ilyin said on Wednesday.
"Over the past three years, the number of takeoffs by the aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Force to intercept potential trespassers of the state borders has risen by almost ten times," Ilyin said at the roundtable discussion in the upper house of Russia’s parliament on the country’s security against external threats.
Russian fighters scrambled again on Monday to intercept US B-52 strategic bombers over the Baltic and Black Seas, the defense official said.
"The participation of US strategic bombers in drills in the European theater of military operations is becoming a norm," he noted.
The United States is thus regularly checking Russia’s readiness and resolve to react to such threats, he said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on June 17 that Russian Su-27 fighter jets from the quick reaction alert force made intercepts of US B-52H strategic bombers that had approached the state border of Russia from the Black and Baltic Seas.