Pair Of Russian Bombers Intercepted By NORAD Jets In Alaska Defense Zone
The US military has revealed that it scrambled jet fighters to monitor and intercept a pair of nuclear-capable Russian long range bombers off Alaska's coast on Monday, at a moment tensions with Moscow remain on edge due to the Ukraine war and corresponding far reaching anti-Russia sanctions.
NORAD said in a press release which was posted Tuesday, "On 17 October, the Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Region detected, tracked, positively identified and intercepted two Russian Tu-95 Bear-H bombers entering and operating within the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)."
Two US F-16 jets were sent as part of the response; however, the military statement stressed that at no point did the Russian bombers enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace. The Alaska ADIZ is extensive, reaching far over the Bering Sea.
Russian aircraft entering the zone typically results in NORAD scrambling aircraft to shadow the nearby foreign military planes and warn them away. In prior years Russian long-range bombers have approached the Alaskan coast, placing US defenses on alert.
Importantly, this fresh incident marks only the second time time NORAD has recorded large Russian military aircraft near Alaska throughout the seven months of the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine.
In August, Russian spy planes traversed the same area, resulting in NORAD sending jets to track their movements.
.@usairforce F-15C/Ds & F-16s from @EielsonAirForce Base take off during Red Flag Alaska 23-1. RF-A is an aerial combat training exercise designed to offer realistic air-combat training for military pilots from the U.S. & Allied countries.— PACAF (@PACAF) October 12, 2022
📷 by SrA David Phaff | @INDOPACOM pic.twitter.com/x7D8Ap2jwv
There was also an early summer incident where two Russian IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft aircraft came near Alaska. However, the US military at the time said that particular incident was less provocative or worrisome that prior nuclear-capable bomber or spy plane flights.
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Below: map of Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends far over the Bering Sea...