US intercepts Russian jets near Alaska

US intercepts Russian jets near Alaska

Two U.S. jets intercepted a pair of Russian bombers in international airspace off the coast of Alaska early Friday morning, according to a statement from the North American Air Defense (NORAD).

CNN reports that two Russian TU-95 "Bear" bombers were intercepted and turned back by U.S. F-22 stealth fighters about 10 a.m. eastern time Friday morning.


"At approximately 10 a.m. ET, two Alaskan-based NORAD F-22 fighters intercepted and visually identified two Russian TU-95 'Bear' long-range bomber aircraft flying in the Air Defense Identification Zone around the western coast of Alaska, north of the Aleutian Islands," U.S. Northern Command spokesman Canadian Army Maj. Andrew Hennessy and NORAD said in a statement.

The jets never entered U.S. airspace, according to the report, and turned back after passing the Aleutian Islands.

Friday's incident comes just over a month after a U.S. Navy P-8 surveillance plane was intercepted in an "unprofessional" manner by a Russian Su-27 fighter jet over the Baltic Sea in early March.

That incident, in which Russian aircraft came within 20 feet of the Navy surveillance plane, was criticized by a U.S. Navy spokeswoman last month.

"The Russian military is within its right to operate within international airspace, but they must behave within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents on and Over the High Seas (INCSEA)," said a Navy spokeswoman at the time. "Unsafe actions‎ increase the risk of miscalculation and midair collisions."

The U.S. jets on Friday did not get closer then 100 meters to the Russian ones, according to Reuters.