Russian surveillance aircraft spotted in Alaska’s defense zone
Russian surveillance aircraft were spotted inside the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone on two separate occasions this week
August 11, 2022 5:54am
Updated: August 11, 2022 10:41am
Russian surveillance aircraft were spotted inside the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone on two separate occasions this week, reported the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) on Tuesday.
NORAD “detected, tracked, and identified the aircraft.” The Russian aircraft “remained in international airspace and did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace,” the agency said in a statement.
On two separate occasions, over the past 2 days, the Alaskan NORAD Region detected, tracked and identified Russian surveillance aircraft entering and operating within the Alaskan ADIZ. The Russian aircraft did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace. #WeHaveTheWatch— North American Aerospace Defense Command (@NORADCommand) August 10, 2022
An air defense identification zone is a self-declared buffer area of airspace around a territory or country. Although the zones do not have a basis in international law, an airplane that breaches a country’s zone could be seen as an act of aggression, reported NBC News.
“NORAD employs a layered defense network of satellites, ground-based radars, airborne radar, and fighter aircraft to track and identify aircraft and inform of appropriate actions,” the agency said.
The Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone extends for hundreds of miles around Alaska’s shore and is monitored for national security purposes.
Russian aircraft also entered U.S. airspace in October 2021, when five Russian aircraft were spotted within the defense zone, reported the New York Post.
In June 2020, when a couple of IL-38 maritime patrol planes came within 50 miles of Unimak Island, which is in Alaska’s Aleutian chain.