U.S. fighter jets intercept Russian bombers near Alaska

U.S. fighter jets intercepted four Russian military aircraft in international airspace near Alaska on Monday, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said. The Russian planes came within 35 miles of Alaska’s shores but didn’t enter U.S. or Canadian airspace during the encounter.

 / Credit: NORAD Public Affairs / Credit: NORAD Public Affairs
/ Credit: NORAD Public Affairs

The American F-22 fighters intercepted two Russian bombers, which were escorted by two Su-35 fighter jets, NORAD said in a statement. The Russian planes were supported by an airborne early warning aircraft.

The F-22s were supported by surveillance and refueling aircraft. “NORAD forces remain on alert 24/7/365 to respond to potential threats to Canada and the United States,” Air Force General Glen VanHerck, NORAD’s commander, said in a statement. “The agility and readiness of our personnel ensures we are successful in addressing potential aerospace threats with the appropriate response at the right time.”

Russian military aircraft have been spotted near Alaska several times in the past few months. In September, two bombers and two Su-35 fighters came within 58 miles of Alaska’s Nunivak Island in the Bering Sea.

In August, F-22s intercepted three groups of two Russian maritime patrol aircraft. In June, U.S. fighter jets intercepted Russian bomber formations on two separate occasions.

In all of those incidents, the Russian planes remained in international airspace.

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