- The North American Aerospace Defense Command dispatched two American F-22 raptors, fifth-generation stealth fighters, to intercept Russian aircraft near Alaska on Saturday.
- The F-22s, accompanied by support aircraft, intercepted four Russian Tu-142 reconnaissance aircraft in the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone.
- Saturday’s interception is the sixth time that US fighters intercept Russian military aircraft near Alaska this month and the tenth time this year.
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American fighters intercepted four Russian military aircraft near Alaska on Saturday, marking the sixth time this month that Russian aircraft have been intercepted in the area this month.
The U.S. Air Force F-22 raptors were scrambled in response to the presence of four Russian Tu-142 reconnaissance aircraft inside the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, the Command said North American Aerospace Defense Agency (NORAD) in a statement.
The approaching Russian plane reached 65 miles from the Alaska territory and prowled ADIZ for about eight hours.
Saturday’s incident is the sixth time that U.S. fifth-generation stealth fighters intercept Russian military aircraft near Alaska this month and the tenth time this year.
“This year alone, NORAD forces have identified and intercepted Russian military aircraft, including bombers, fighters, and maritime patrol aircraft, on ten separate occasions when they have flown into ADIZ,” said General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, NORAD commander, in a statement. Saturday.
Regarding interceptions this month, NORAD fighters carried out two interceptions of two Russian bomber formations on June 10, two interceptions of another pair of bomber formations on June 17, and one interception of a maritime patrol aircraft Russian IL-38 on June 24.
While the Russian plane was kept further away during the most recent flight, in a previous incident, Russian bombers reached 32 nautical miles off the coast of Alaska.
None of the Russian planes have entered the sovereign airspace of the United States, which stretches 12 nautical miles from the American coasts. The ADIZ extends 200 nautical miles from the coast.
Long-range Russian air patrol flights near the US appear to occur more frequently. In a statement last year, NORAD stated that it has intercepted an average of six to seven Russian departures entering a NORAD ADIZ since Russia restarted patrols in 2007. Russia has carried out so many flights in a month.
NORAD said Saturday that it uses radars, satellites and combat aircraft to identify potential threats to the United States and Canada and respond accordingly.