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Old 02-27-2009, 10:33 AM   #1
kwajo
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Default Canadian jets scrambled to intercept Russian bomber before Obama visit

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Canadian fighter jets scrambled to intercept a Russian plane approaching Canadian airspace shortly before U.S. President Barack Obama visited Ottawa, the defence minister said Friday.


A Canadian F-18 lands at the Aviano air base in northern Italy in 1999.
(Franco De Bernardi/Associated Press)

Peter MacKay said he wasn't accusing Russia of deliberately timing the flight to coincide with the visit when Canadian security was focused in Ottawa but he did call it a "strong coincidence."

"It was a strong coincidence which we met with CF-18 fighter planes and world-class pilots that know their business," said MacKay.

"[The pilots] sent a strong signal they should back off and stay out of our airspace."

MacKay confirmed the incident at a news conference Friday in Ottawa with the chief of the defence staff, Gen. Walter Natynczyk, and the commander of NORAD, Gen. Gene Renuart.

The CF-18s took off from Cold Lake, Alta., on Feb. 16 after North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad) detected the Russian Bear long-range bomber headed for Canadian airspace. The aircraft never did enter North American airspace.

Obama arrived in Ottawa on Feb. 19 to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He spent six hours in the nation's capital.

No comment from Russian ambassador

Russian aircraft regularly probed into North American airspace during the Cold War and Canadian and American fighters routinely tracked the snoopers and escorted them back into international airspace.

Such flights were suspended for years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but resumed in recent years as Russia pushed its claim on the Arctic and oil wealth allowed the country to spend more on its military.

MacKay said Canada has seen "increased activity" in recent years.

Norad spokesman Michael Kucharek wouldn't say what signals the pilots sent to the Russians, but did say they were close enough to make visual identification.

"Visual identification is enough to get their attention," he said.

Kucharek said it's possible the Russian plane was taking part in a military exercise.

"These types of exercises occur and have occurred over the past few years in quite a few different times and places."

Russia's ambassador to Canada, Georgiy Mamedov, will not be commenting on the incident Friday, said the Russian Embassy, but he may comment on Monday.

Rival Arctic claims

Melting Arctic ice has increased the chances of a standoff between countries that claim a stake in the region. The Arctic seabed, an area as large as the Prairie provinces, could be abundant in natural resources such as oil and gas.

The region is currently divided among Canada, the United States, Norway, Russia and Denmark.

Countries that ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea have 10 years to prove their continental shelves extend beyond the 370-kilometre (200-nautical-mile) outer limit currently in place. Since Canada ratified the convention in 2003, it has until 2013 to submit scientific evidence to extend that limit.

Russia claims the Arctic seabed and Siberia are linked by the same continental shelf. The UN rejected the claim, citing lack of evidence, but the country is set to resubmit the application in 2009.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said Arctic sovereignty is a key priority of his government and has promised to beef up Canada's military presence in the region. The Tory government has also moved to increase the jurisdiction of Canadian environmental law over northern waters and made it mandatory for vessels there to register with the Canadian Coast Guard.

Canadian scientists are mapping the seabed in an effort to bolster Canada's claim.

Two years ago, Russia sent a mini-submarine to plant a flag on the ocean floor at the North Pole.

MacKay, who was foreign affairs minister at the time, scoffed at the move, saying, "You can't go around the world these days dropping a flag somewhere, this isn't the 14th or 15th century."

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/...ic-russia.html

Dammit, if only we had the Avro Arrow, it was designed exactly for this purpose - intercepting Russian planes over the arctic.

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Old 02-27-2009, 10:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: Canadian jets scrambled to intercept Russian bomber before Obama visit

Anyone who isn't aware of the history of the Arrow should absolutely brush up. Really interesting story.

As for that - not surprising. Russia is behaving a lot more like the USSR every day, and I don't expect that to stop. I think we all know what happened up there.


Last edited by johndeeregreen : 02-27-2009 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Canadian jets scrambled to intercept Russian bomber before Obama visit

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Originally Posted by johndeeregreen
Anyone who isn't aware of the history of the Arrow should absolutely brush up. Really interesting story.

As for that - not surprising. Russia is behaving a lot more like the USSR every day, and I don't expect that to stop. I think we all know what happened up there.

I get annoyed at both Russia and the US for their claims to parts of or all of the Arctic these days. Canada has occupied, managed and offered governmental services for the people of those areas for a very long time and these other countries are now just interested in it because of the mineral or oil wealth that may be located in the region. It is our damn territory and if they want the resources associated with it, they should pay up or get the fu*ck out.

And I agree about the Arrow, I'm a huge buff on the subject, have been since I was 6 years old. The stories alone about the Arrow engineers and where they went after the program's dissolution just boggle the mind. Canada had engineers responsible for major aerospace innovations like the Apollo program and the Concorde, and we just let them leave because of a web of national and international politics. Shameful really. Jim Chamberlain was one of the most brilliant men of the 20th century and we failed him as a citizen of Canada by not giving avenues for his success in his home country.

Last edited by kwajo : 02-27-2009 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Canadian jets scrambled to intercept Russian bomber before Obama visit

whats that story with the avro arrow thing again..? i remember learning about it back in grade 10.. wasnt it the most advanced plane back in its days and it was suppose to make canada one of the most advanced countries in warfare until they cancelled fundings..? lol thats what i remember, what was it again?
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: Canadian jets scrambled to intercept Russian bomber before Obama visit

Jeez, why has Russia gone all coocoo-bananas lately? Why are they alienating themselves from the West? The Cold War is over you stupid Cossacks.


It's funny that they're even messing with Canada now, and we needed to show our "military might", the big bad archaic F-18s.
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Canadian jets scrambled to intercept Russian bomber before Obama visit



You Rooskies just better back off eh.
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