U.S. intercepted Russian bombers in Alaska twice in two days
On both occasions, the aircraft did not enter U.S. or Canadian airspace, officials said
February 16, 2023 11:59pm
Updated: February 17, 2023 8:56am
The U.S. Air Force intercepted Russian warplanes flying in international airspace and approaching an identification zone on Thursday for the second time in two days, officials announced.
On Feb. 14, two Air Force F-35 fighter jets intercepted four Russian airplanes, including two Tu-95 BEAR-H bombers, as well as SU-30 and SU-35 fighter jets, according to the Alaskan Region of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
One day prior, two Air Force F-16 fighter jets intercepted two Russian Tupolev TU-95MS strategic bombers on "a seven-hour flight over neutral waters of the Chukchi Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk"
Airplanes approaching the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) are required to identify themselves. If the airplanes fail to do so, the U.S. Air Force launches airplanes to investigate.
On both occasions, the aircraft did not enter U.S. or Canadian airspace, officials said.
"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 said in a statement Thursday
The U.S. Air Force intercepts Russian jets six or seven times a year in the North American ADIZ.
"NORAD routinely monitors foreign aircraft movements and as necessary, escorts them," the statement added.
On Wednesday, Russia said that it carried out several flights over international waters, including the area between Alaska and Russia.
"Long-range aviation pilots regularly perform flights over the neutral waters of the Arctic, North Atlantic, Black Sea, Baltic Sea, and Pacific Ocean," Russia's defense ministry said.