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Russia's Air Force Has Been Busy Off the Coast of Alaska

NORAD says it intercepted multiple Russian fighter jets, bombers
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2019 9:15 AM CDT
In this Aug. 10, 2010, file photo, a pair of US-built NORAD F-22 fighter jets fly off the wing of a civilian airplane playing the role of a hijacked airliner over a mountainous area of Alaska.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

(Newser) – US fighter jets are staying busy this week, thanks to a slew of Russian aircraft off the coast of Alaska. Per CNN, NORAD is reporting that American F-22 jets have intercepted Russian Tu-95 bombers and Su-35 fighter jets—not once, but twice over a two-day span. The first incident happened Monday, when four Russian bombers and two fighter jets cruised into the Air Defense Identification Zone, which stretches a couple hundred miles off the west coast of Alaska. "The Russian bombers and fighters remained in international airspace and at no time did the aircraft enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace," NORAD said in a statement.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that fly-by in a tweet, noting "total flight time exceeded 12 hours." It said the flights were part of scheduled training exercises, per NBC News. Then came a similar incident Tuesday, when two Russian bombers flew into the ADIZ, were intercepted by two US fighter jets, and left, only to return a short time later with their own two fighter jets. Those aircraft also stayed in international airspace, per NORAD. US officials note that Russia has done this sort of maneuver near Alaska a few times a year for the past several years. (Read more Russia stories.)

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