Air Force Intercepts Russian Bombers Near Alaska Again


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For the second time since the beginning of September, Air Force F-22 Raptors like the one above were scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft flying over global waters close to United States airspace off the coast of Alaska.

"Tu-95 MS strategic long-range bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces performed scheduled flights over the neutral waters of the Arctic Ocean, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk", the Russian Defense ministry said in a statement to TASS.

The planes were intercepted just west of the mainland by American F-22 "Raptor" fighters and positively identified by NORAD forces, officials said.

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

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The Russian military formation included two Tu-95 "Bear" bombers and a pair of Su-35 "Flanker" fighter jets, officials said.

Tuesday's incident also occurred amid Russian war games with China along the two countries' border, a massive effort involving thousands of Russian vehicles and personnel along with similar participation from Chinese forces.

Terrance O'Shaughnessy says radar, satellites and fighter jets are used to identify aircraft and determine appropriate responses. "The identification and monitoring of aircraft entering a USA or Canadian Air Defense identification Zone demonstrates how NORAD executes its aerospace warning and aerospace control missions for the United States and Canada". On Sept. 1, the bombers were intercepted by F-22 fighters after crossing into the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone south of the Aleutian Islands.

The FAA warns foreign aircraft doing so that they may be intercepted by fighter jets, during which time they are asked to establish radio contact and follow instructions.