North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has identified and tracked two Tu-142 Russian maritime patrol aircraft inside the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

According to NORAD, the maritime patrol aircraft were in international airspace on 25 January. However, the aircraft did not enter US or Canadian sovereign airspace.

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The binational command noted that it did not scramble any aircraft to intercept.

NORAD said that it is able to track, identify and respond to possible incursions using ‘a layered defence network of satellites, ground-based radars, airborne radar and fighter aircraft’.

It carries out all air sovereignty and air defence missions in North America under Operation NOBLE EAGLE.

In a release, NORAD said: “This deliberate identification and monitoring of aircraft entering a US or Canadian ADIZ demonstrates how NORAD executes its continuous aerospace warning and aerospace control missions for the United States and Canada.

“Despite Covid-19, NORAD has taken deliberate measures and remains fully capable of conducting our aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning missions.”

As per NORAD releases issued last year, several intercepts were carried out by the command in response to Russian military aircraft entering the Alaskan ADIZ.

Some of the military aircraft sent by Russia are Tu-95 bombers, Su-35 fighter jets, A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft, IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft and Tu-160 bombers.