- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Russian bombers flying in Irish-controlled airspace late last month forced passenger jets to change its flight pattern to avoid a midair crash.

Two Tu-95 bombers flying roughly 25 miles of the Irish coast prompted one plane to change its course and another to delay takeoff, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said, a European news agency reported Wednesday.

The IAA said that the Russian bombers were not using transponders at the time of the Feb. 18 incident.

No further information on the passenger jets was provided by the IAA, the news outlet reported.

The close call was reminiscent of large-scale Russian maneuvers that took place in October over the North Sea, Baltic Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Black Sea. NATO member states reportedly had to scramble jets when four Tu-95 Bear H strategic bombers and four Il-78 tanker aircraft did not file flight plans, maintain radio contact with civilian air traffic controllers or use on-board transponders.

Russia’s actions pose “a potential risk to civil aviation as civilian air traffic control cannot detect these aircraft,” NATO said in October.

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