US Fighter Jets Intercept Four Russian Bombers Near Alaska: Report
The U.S. military said it intercepted four Russian warplanes near Alaska on Monday, The Hill reported Tuesday citing a statement from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
The Command said it detected four Russian aircraft, including TU-95 BEAR-H bombers and SU-35 fighter aircraft, entering and operating within the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
NORAD officials said they had anticipated the Russian activity and were able to quickly scramble two F-16s and Two F-35A fighters, an E-3 Sentry and two KC-135 to intercept the Kremlin aircraft in the ADIZ, which covers the international airspace outside of the U.S. and Canada near the far northern state.
Two F-35A fighters, an E-3 Sentry and two KC-135 Stratotankers were also sent to assist.
NORAD routinely monitors foreign aircraft in the ADIZ and escorts them out as needed, with the last such occurrence happening in October. In that incident, two Russian bombers entered the airspace, the report states.
While tensions between the U.S. and Russia remain high due to Moscow’s war in Ukraine, NORAD said Russian activity happens so regularly — an average of six to seven intercepts of Kremlin military aircraft in the ADIZ annually since 2007 — it is “not seen as a threat, nor is the activity seen as provocative.”
The United States is on high alert after shooting down three unidentified objects over Alaska, Lake Huron and Canadian territory in the past week, in addition to the massive suspected Chinese spy balloon shot off the coast of South Carolina earlier this month.
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