Two Russian jets that flew over the sea near the Alaska coastline were intercepted by US and Canadian aircraft, military officials said on Tuesday.
The two planes were escorted by F-22 and CF-18 aircraft according to the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) after they flew as close as 50 nautical miles to the Alaska coast.
NORAD posted about the interception on its Twitter account and shared photos of the incident.
The release states that the Russian aircraft did not enter US or Canadian sovereign airspace and was intercepted by NORAD F-22s, CF-18s, supported by KC-135 Stratotanker and E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft.
“NORAD continues to operate in the Arctic across multiple domains,” said General Terrence J O’Shaughnessy, NORAD Commander.
“As we continue to conduct exercises and operations in the north, we are driven by a single unyielding priority: defending the homelands.”
NORAD F-22s, CF-18s, supported by KC-135 Stratotanker and E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft, intercepted two Russian Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone on Monday, March 9th. pic.twitter.com/39n3zqy8F8— North American Aerospace Defense Command (@NORADCommand)March 10, 2020
The two Russian Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft remained within international airspace for the duration of the approximate four-hour flight on Monday.
A similar incident occurred in May 2019 when US stealth jets intercepted Russians bombers and fighter jets just off Alaska’s western coast.