Two U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft intercepted two Russian Tu-95 Bear-H bombers approaching protected airspace near Alaska.
On Monday, the Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region detected, tracked, positively identified and intercepted two Russian Tu-95 Bear-H bombers entering and operating within the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone.
The F-16 fighter s intercepted the Russian aircraft which remained in international airspace and did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace.
“The recent Russian activity in the North American ADIZ is not seen as a threat nor is the activity seen as provocative. NORAD tracks and positively identifies foreign military aircraft that enter the ADIZ,” NORAD officials wrote in a release.
NORAD routinely monitors foreign aircraft movements and as necessary, escorts them from the ADIZ, using a layered defense network of satellites, ground-based radars, airborne radar and fighter aircraft to track and identify aircraft and inform appropriate actions.
Last month, NORAD said it detected and tracked two Russian maritime patrol aircraft operating within the Alaskan and Canadian Air Defense Identification Zones.
On September 11, 2022, NORAD detected, tracked and positively identified two Russian maritime patrol aircraft entering the ADIZ.
The incident comes at a fraught period in American-Russian relations.
The U.S. has actively supported Ukraine with humanitarian and military aid in its defense against Moscow’s invasion and the Biden administration has slapped Russian oligarchs with sanctions.
The Tupolev Tu-95 is a large, four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile platform. First flown in 1952, the Tu-95 entered service with the Long-Range Aviation of the Soviet Air Forces in 1956 and was first used in combat in 2015. It is expected to serve the Russian Aerospace Forces until at least 2040.
NORAD is a Canadian and United States bi-national command charged with three missions: aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning for North America.
The command headquarters said NORAD remains ready to employ a number of response options in defense of North America and Arctic sovereignty.
NORAD employs a network of aerial, ground-based, and space-based sensors, air-to-refueling tankers, and fighter aircraft controlled by a sophisticated command and control network to deter, detect, and defend against aerial threats that originate outside or within North American airspace.