USAF and RCAF fighter jets intercept Russian aircraft north of Alaska

11 March 2020 (Last Updated March 11th, 2020 11:46)

The US Air Force's (USAF) F-22 tactical fighter jets and the Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF) CF-18 Hornets have successfully intercepted two Russian aircraft north of Alaska, US.

USAF and RCAF fighter jets intercept Russian aircraft north of Alaska
A Russian Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft. Credit: Fedor Leukhin.

The US Air Force’s (USAF) F-22 tactical fighter jets and the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) CF-18 Hornets have successfully intercepted two Russian aircraft north of Alaska, US.

The USAF identified the two Russian aircraft as Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

The two Tupolevs were escorted for around four hours in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

According to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the Russian aircraft came within five nautical miles of the Alaskan coast but did not enter the sovereign airspace of the US or Canada.

The aircraft flew in international airspace over the Beaufort Sea.

NORAD commander and US northern command general Terrence O’Shaughnessy said: “NORAD continues to operate in the Arctic across multiple domains.

“As we continue to conduct exercises and operations in the north, we are driven by a single unyielding priority: defending the homeland.”

The USAF Russian aircraft intercept mission was supported by an E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft and a KC-135 Stratotanker.

In a statement, NORAD said: “NORAD employs a layered defence network of radars, satellites, and fighter aircraft to identify aircraft and determine the appropriate response.

“The identification and monitoring of aircraft entering a US or Canadian ADIZ demonstrates how NORAD executes its aerospace warning and aerospace control missions for the United States and Canada.”

Last week, the British Royal Air Force (RAF) scrambled six of its Eurofighter Typhoon multirole fighter jets to intercept Russian military aircraft heading towards UK airspace north-west of Scotland.

The two Russian aircraft were also identified as Tupolev Tu-142 Bears, the F and J variants of the strategic bomber and long-range maritime patrol aircraft.