Russian bombers, fighters intercepted off Alaska - US military

Clay Curtis
May 23, 2019

As per North American Aerospace Defense Command, US Air Force F-22 stealth fighters intercepted two sets of Russian Tupolev Tu-95 bombers off the coast of Alaska on Monday.

The Russian bombers did not leave global aerospace and at no time entered US territory, the press release reveals. Both incidents took place over Alaska's Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ), but in worldwide airspace.

US defense forces have intercepted and escorted Russian war planes spotted near Alaskan air space for the second day in a row.

NORAD, a joint U.S.

The Russian Defense Ministry had already announced on Tuesday that Russian Tu-95MS bombers, capable of carrying nuclear missiles, were sent on an observation flight on Monday close to the western coast of Alaska. "The aircraft remained in int'l. airspace", NORAD said via Twitter.

Russian military aircraft that cross through the ADIZ on a training mission are typically allowed to continue on once identified, as long as they do not attempt to enter USA airspace.

"At certain stages of the route, Russian aircraft were escorted by F-22 fighter jets of the USAF", according to the statement.

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Two Russian Tu-95 bombers and two Su-35 fighters were involved in Tuesday's incident.

In a statement issued by NORAD, officials stated, "NORAD fighters intercepted Russian bombers+fighters entering Alaskan ADIZ May 20".

This time the flight took 11 hours, as opposed to more than 12 last time, but Moscow again maintained that "long-range pilots make regular flights over neutral waters of the Arctic, North Atlantic, Black and Caspian seas and Pacific Ocean" and that this was "carried out in strict accordance with the International Airspace Management System without violating the borders of other states". The Russian defense ministry said they were "scheduled sorties" over neutral waters.

NORAD committed an additional two F-22s and E-3 to relieve the initial intercept aircraft.

The Russian mission comes weeks before a major US and NATO-led naval exercise, dubbed "Baltic Operations" is set to kick off in the waters of the North Atlantic in mid-June.

NORAD said USA forces have intercepted an average of six or seven Russian planes in the Alaska zone every year since 2007.

Tension between the US and Russian Federation remains high, and such aerial encounters have not been uncommon in recent years.

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