Direct confrontations between the armed forces of the world’s major power military powers have been increasing, with government taking increasingly belligerent tones to describe the encounters.
One of the latest incidents was reported with distinctly different twists by news media of the respective countries.
The curious case of the submarine in the North Sea
First up, via Sky News:
A Russian submarine – capable of carrying cruise missiles – has been intercepted by a Royal Navy warship in the North Sea.
The vessel was detected by NATO forces and is now being escorted by HMS Kent.
The Ministry of Defence said the Type 23 Duke class frigate will continue to shadow the Kilo-class submarine.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “This shows that the Navy is maintaining a vigilant watch in international and territorial waters to keep Britain safe and protect us from potential threats.”
And from the other side of Europe, Russia’s RT adds a note of irony:
UK media hail Navy’s ‘intercept’ of Russian sub… which was not hiding
Headlines in the British media have hailed a Royal Navy operation to ‘track and intercept’ a Russian submarine off the UK coast – but Moscow says it’s surprised it took so much effort to find what was actually a surfaced sub traveling with a tug boat.
Armed forces in prepare for war in East Europe
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe Defense News covers another confrontation:
Poland has kicked off its joint multinational exercise with heavy US Army participation in order to test readiness and interoperability using 31,000 soldiers from 24 countries, 100 aircraft, 12 vessels and 3,000 vehicles.
The US Army’s role in the biggest Polish national exercise, called Anakonda, will include a multinational air assault and airborne operations as well as bridging operations and live fire, command post, field training, cyber and electronic warfare exercises led by the 4th Infantry Division Headquarters.
Among some of the key activities, the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division will conduct an airborne operation into the Torun training area to secure terrain east of the Vistula river and the 10th Army Air & Missile Defense Command will conduct electronic warfare exercises in the Utzka training area in support of air defense artillery brigade maneuvers that will include live fire exercises.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said Monday during the opening ceremony that the single purpose for the US Army in Anakonda is to demonstrate that the US Army is “shoulder to shoulder” with Poland, its army and NATO “to ensure that all countries of NATO remain free and independent.”
An aerial confrontation in the East China Sea
And on to Asia, with a report from RT:
A Chinese J-10 fighter plane intercepted a US Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft during a “routine mission” over the East China Sea in an “unsafe” manner, two American defense officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
The officials claimed that Washington was alarmed by the Chinese fighter’s “excessive rate of closure” on the US aircraft – meaning it approached too fast. According to CNN sources, the Chinese jet did not fly closer than 100ft to the US spy plane while it was on the mission.
Beijing insisted its fighter jet kept a safe distance and avoided making dangerous maneuvers, and demanded that Washington stop reconnaissance flights next to Chinese airspace.
“The United States continues close reconnaissance activity, which significantly undermines China’s security at sea. This is what causes the problem. We urge the United States to stop this activity and prevent such incidents in the future,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told journalists at a briefing on Wednesday. China remains within its rights to take self-defense measures, Hong stressed.