The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has detected and intercepted a total of four Russian aircraft near its Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
According to NORAD’s statement, the Russian aircraft, including the TU-95 BEAR-H bomber, along with SU-30 and SU-35 fighter jets, were ‘detected, tracked, positively identified and intercepted’ over the Alaskan Region on 14 February.
The activity involved the deployment of several US aircraft, including two F-35A fighter jets, supported by two F-16 fighter aircraft, two KC-135 Stratotankers and one E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft.
However, the service claimed that the Russian planes did not enter the American or Canadian sovereign airspace and remained in the international airspace.
In its media statement, NORAD said: “NORAD tracks and positively identifies foreign military aircraft that enter the ADIZ.
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“NORAD employs a layered defence network of satellites, ground-based radars, airborne radar and fighter aircraft to track and identify aircraft and inform appropriate actions. We remain ready to employ a number of response options in defence of North America and Arctic sovereignty.”
This marks the second such consecutive incident reported by NORAD this week. The first such incident was reported to have occurred on 13 February.
NORAD claimed that such activities near the Alaskan airspace take place regularly and are not considered a ‘threat’ or ‘provocation’ to the US.
The command said around six or seven Russian military aircraft are intercepted in ADIZ annually and this number keeps varying from a maximum of 15 to a minimum of zero.
Earlier this week, the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s F-35 fighter intercepted three Russian aircraft in Polish airspace.