US says Soviet bombers ran mock attack on fleet

Soviet Backfire bombers approached within striking distance of US aircraft carriers for the first time and carried out simulated cruise missile attacks against them, US intelligence sources said Monday.

Eight of the long-range Backfires, operating from bases in the Soviet Far East, staged the mock attacks against the carriers Enterprise and Midway Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 during fleet exercises in the northern Pacific near the Aleutian Islands. For security reasons, the sources declined to say whether the carriers and escort vessels detected or intercepted the Backfires.

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