US and Canadian jets intercepted four long-range Soviet patrol planes yesterday about 120 miles off Canada's east coast, the Defense Department said. The Tupolev 95 ``Bear'' aircraft were spotted on radar as they approached Canada's air defense zone without notification. US and Canadian pilots identified them as Bears of the D and F types, the first a modified long-range bomber used for electronic reconnaissance and the second used for anti-submarine warfare.
Two Canadian CF-18 Hornets and two F-4 Phantoms of the Maine Air National Guard made the interception, the report said. Soviet sorties into the zone have become almost routine and are similar to flights near Soviet airspace by NATO aircraft.