US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Over the past week, Russian Su-35 fighters twice endangered the US Navy anti-submarine aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea. The European command of the armed forces should take up the mind and launch escort fighters to protect their crews.
As expected, the Russians are testing the combat readiness of the US military against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. In this particular case, the Russians are trying to succeed in disrupting the tracking of Russian submarines in the Mediterranean Sea, whose number has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. But unlike the recent game that the Russians started near Alaska, incidents in the Mediterranean threaten the lives of Americans.
As the US Navy noted in its press release on Sunday’s interception, the Russian Su-35 made a “high-speed maneuver, reducing the distance to the [aircraft] P-8A to 25 feet (about 8 meters), creating a turbulent loop for the R-8A and firing in front of jet exhaust.”
Why Russians do not want the P-8A to fly over the sea is clear. Most likely, these American aircraft, based at the Sigonella Naval Air Station in Sicily, track the waters around North Africa and Syria. But whenever Russian interceptors endanger the P-8A, we risk losing nine American lives.
The Russian strategy, apparently, assumes that its crews will not stop until they run out of fuel, or until they are rebuffed. So the United States must launch the so-called “combat air patrols to cover assets of great value.” This means that the P-8A will be accompanied by fighters of the Navy or the US Air Force. And if our European allies were ready to withstand Russian aggression, this task could be carried out by NATO fighters.
When I contacted the Navy and asked why the P-8A was flying unaccompanied, they told me that future operations “do not discuss in principle.” Well, right. But there are many ways to arrange this.
First, the US Air Force has two F-16 fighter squadrons in northern Italy – they will be able to accompany the P-8A with refueling. If necessary, one of them can be relocated to the Incirlik airbase in Turkey, this is just north of Syria and the Mediterranean Sea. As an alternative, it will be possible to use any part of the US Air Force in Iraq and Syria.
Or, if the Pentagon really wants to declare itself, it could transfer the strike carrier group led by the Dwight Eisenhower from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean. He could also send the Harry Truman aircraft carrier, which had just returned from there, to the Mediterranean Sea. In this regard, it is significant that Russian antics began only after Truman and his air wing left the Mediterranean Sea. The Russians know that their forces, even well-equipped Su-35s, can operate much more freely when there are no deadly US military platforms nearby.
You should not give them such an incentive.
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