Russian surveillance aircraft entered Alaska defense zone, NORAD says

Russian surveillance aircraft flew into the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone twice in the past two days, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) revealed late Tuesday. 

The Alaskan NORAD “detected, tracked and identified Russian surveillance aircraft entering and operating within” the zone off the state’s coast, the command said in a statement on Twitter.  

“The Russian aircraft did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace,” NORAD noted. 

An air defense identification zone is a self-declared buffer zone of airspace surrounding a country or territory. Aircraft from other countries are legally allowed to fly within one but doing so is considered aggression, as once there, planes could quickly cross into sovereign airspace. 

The last time NORAD announced such a breach was in October 2021, when five Russian aircraft entered the zone. 

To keep track of the incidents, NORAD employs a layered defense network of satellites, ground-based radars, airborne radars and fighter aircraft to track and identify aircraft and determine the appropriate response, according to the command.  

The two Russian flights come as Moscow is locked in its sixth month of war with Ukraine, with the battle largely fixated on the Donetsk region in the eastern part of the country.  

Russian forces, which are struggling to gain ground in the region, are looking to take the area following its gain of Luhansk last month.  

Tags NORAD Russia Ukraine

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