Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets, assigned to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), intercepted two Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers Tuesday off the coast of Alaska.
The incident marks the second time US F-22s have intercepted Russian bombers off the coast of Alaska this month.
“Two NORAD F-22 “Raptor” fighter jets positively identified and intercepted two Russian Tu-95 “Bear” bombers at approximately 10 p.m. EDT Tuesday, September 11″,NORAD said in a statement released on Sept. 12.
According to NORAD, the Russian nuclear-capable bombers were intercepted in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) west of mainland Alaska. It added that the bombers were accompanied by two Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-35 “Flanker” fighter jets and the Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and at no time did the aircraft enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace.
The NORAD statement did not specify the distance the bombers flew from the west coast of Alaska, probably to protect operational security (OPSEC).The ADIZ extends approximately 200 miles off Alaska’s western coast.
“The homeland is no longer a sanctuary and the ability to deter and defeat threats to our citizens, vital infrastructure, and national institutions starts with successfully detecting, tracking, and positively identifying aircraft of interest approaching U.S. and Canadian airspace,” said NORAD Commander General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy.
This is the third time this year Russian bombers flew close to Alaska. In an incident earlier this month, two NORAD Raptors were scrambled to intercept and escort two Russian Tu-95 bombers off the coast of Alaska.