Second Russian Aircraft Intercept Over Alaska Within 48 Hours
NORAD on Thursday has belatedly acknowledged a second Russian aircraft intercept incident this week, after earlier confirming the initial one involving four inbound Russian planes, which happened Monday.
"For the second time this week, NORAD has scrambled fighter jets on Valentine's Day to intercept Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers off the coast of Alaska, it claimed", according to fresh reports.
Like in first incident, NORAD dispatched a pair of fighter jets, both F-35s, to intercept the Russian planes as they they approached Alaska's Air Defense Identification Zone, officials said Thursday.
"This is the second intercept of Russian aircraft over two days. This Russian activity near the North American ADIZ occurs regularly and is not seen as a threat, nor is the activity seen as provocative," NORAD added in the fresh statement.
Interestingly, NORAD called both of this week's incidents "routine" - given it has happened an estimated six to seven times a year on average over the past decade or more. Additionally, no breach of actual US airspace was reported by the Russian planes, just the outlying ADIZ.
But such breaches coming twice within a 48 hour period has been extremely rare. Also, Russian state media appears to be actively publicizing these maneuvers off Alaska, including with videos.
Monday's statement had emphasized that "Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace. This Russian activity in the North American ADIZ occurs regularly and is not seen as a threat, nor is the activity seen as provocative," it continued.
If anyone is wondering about Russia’s resolve, Russia is sending nuke-capable 'Bear' bombers over Alaska and has 'deployed nuclear-armed ships in Baltic for first time in 30 years. https://t.co/szbL9nSA0v pic.twitter.com/HP8kFWqS3y— Geopolitics.wiki (@GeopoliticsW) February 15, 2023
Heightened tensions are ongoing with Russia related to the Ukraine war, but the intercepts also come following the unusual spate of 'unidentified object' shootdowns by US fighters over the past week-and-a-half, two of which were in far northern regions, including northeastern Alaska and Canada's Yukon territory.