US jets intercept two Russian bombers off coast of Alaska
Story Code : 724025
The Russian TU-95 "Bear" bombers flew into the Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends approximately 200 miles off Alaska's western coast, marking the first time in just over a year that Russian aircraft had flown that close to US territory.
The Russian bombers were "intercepted and monitored by the F-22s until the bombers left the ADIZ along the Aleutian Island chain heading west," NORAD and USNORTHCOM spokesman Canadian Army Maj. Andrew Hennessy said in a statement.
The F-22s monitored the Russian jets until they left the ADIZ along the Aleutian Islands, heading west.
Hennessey said the Russian aircraft never entered North American airspace.
Alaska houses the Pentagon's strategic missile interceptor base at Fort Greely, about 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks.
Moscow has repeatedly expressed concerns about US missile systems that it believes are being deployed around the world to counter Russian missiles.
The Pentagon says US missile systems are not aimed at Russian forces but are designed to counter North Korean ballistic missiles and possibly Iranian long-range missiles.
The last such approach by Russian bombers in the area happened on May 3, 2017.
In June 2012, Russian bombers carried out simulated missile strikes on US missile sites in Alaska as part of a major strategic exercise.
Earlier this month, a Russian fighter jet buzzed a US Navy reconnaissance plane in the Baltic Sea.