US intercepts Russian bombers near Alaska for second time in two days

US intercepts Russian bombers near Alaska for second time in two days
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U.S. fighter jets Tuesday intercepted Russian bombers and other aircraft off the coast of Alaska for the second time in two days.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement that four F-22 stealth jets intercepted two Russian Tu-95 bombers Tuesday that had crossed into the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends approximately 200 miles off Alaska's western coast. 

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The bombers returned to the area with two Su-35 fighter jets and were again intercepted.

“The Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and at no time entered U.S. or Canadian sovereign airspace,” NORAD tweeted. 

“NORAD has intercepted an avg of approx. six to seven Russian sorties entering its ADIZ since Russia resumed long range aviation patrols in 2007. This is the 4th and 5th intercepts this year and the 2nd day in a row that Russia has flown into the Alaskan ADIZ.” 

 

Tuesday’s incident came just hours after U.S. fighter jets intercepted six Russian military planes in the ADIZ Monday. 

The Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday its bombers were making “scheduled sorties” over neutral waters above the Chukchi, Bering and Okhotsk seas and off the western coast of Alaska and the northern coast of the Aleutian Islands. 

The Russian bomber flights were restarted in 2007 as Moscow sought to boost the capabilities of its military. The U.S. armed forces view the sorties as part of Russia’s efforts to prepare for a potential clash and an attempt to portray strength to adversaries.

“Our ability to deter and defeat threats to our citizens and vital infrastructure starts with detecting, tracking, and positively identifying aircraft our airspace. We are on alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” NORAD wrote in a tweet Tuesday after news broke of the first interception.