All relevant rules refer to intercepting or scrambling Fighters (including Jet Fighters). The defender cannot send bombers to intercept.
Strategic Bomber Clarification
Can attacking Strategic Bombers carpet bomb enemy naval units? Looking to clarify Strategic Bombers attack options for naval battles.
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@monroe No. OOB strategic bombers can only attack facilities and ground units.
That said, I do have a house rule I like that allows them to carpet bomb naval units, but @1 instead of @2