Air Force intercepts Russian bombers, fighter escorts near Alaska

USAF intercept

The Russian planes did not enter sovereign USA airspace on either of the previous two occasions. The last interception came on September 1 near the Aleutian Islands.

For the second time in less than two weeks, Russian aircraft have flirted with United States airspace near Alaska.

Two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers approached Alaska Tuesday, causing the USA to dispatch to F-22 stealth fighters to enter the strategic Cold War-era bombers.

The aircraft were "intercepted and monitored" by the USA jets until they left the zone, heading west.

Two U.S. F-22 "Raptor" fighter jets intercepted two Russian TU-95 "Bear" bombers on Tuesday, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said.

Terrance O'Shaughnessy says radar, satellites and fighter jets are used to identify aircraft and determine appropriate responses.

The Russian jets never entered U.S. or Canadian airspace, NORAD said, but it didn't give a precise location as to how close they had come.

The bombers are capable of carrying nuclear-tipped KH-55 long-range cruise missiles that have a maximum range of up to 1,841 miles - enough to hit targets in Alaska and the USA west coast.

Russian bombers in the past have conducted mock missile attacks against US missile defenses in Alaska.

A previous interception of bombers occurring on September 1 involved bombers without any Russian fighter jet escorts, CNN noted.

It added that the intercept took keep while the Russian bombers had been within the US Air Protection Identification Zone, which extends about 200 miles off Alaska's western wing.The incident marks the 2nd time US F-22s bask in intercepted Russian bombers off the wing of Alaska this month.

The bombers were accompanied by Su-35s and refueling tankers and originated from a base in the Russian Far East, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

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