U.S. Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Bombers off Alaskan Coast

Two U.S. fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers in international airspace off the coast of Alaska on Friday, in the latest in a series of encounters between U.S. and Russian warplanes. 

The Russian TU-95 “Bear” bombers flew into an Air Defense Identification Zone, in which the identification, location, and control of civil aircraft over land or water is required in the interest of national security, located some 200 miles off Alaska’s west coast, at approximately 10 a.m. EST, North American Aerospace Defense Command spokesman Canadian Army Major Andrew Hennessy said in a statement to CNN. 

GettyImages-480644772 A Russian Tupolev Tu-95 turboprop-powered strategic bomber flies above the Kremlin in Moscow, on May 7, 2015, during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade. Getty Images

Two Alaska-based NORAD F-22 fighter jets intercepted and visually identified the Russian bombers until they left the identification zone and the Russian aircraft never entered U.S. airspace, CNN reported, citing the statement. 

Russian bombers TU-95 and TU-142 were escorted by two F-22 fighter jets in international airspace for 40 minutes, the RIA news agency cited the Russian Defense Ministry as saying on Saturday. 

The U.S. fighter jets did not get closer then 100 meters to the Russian bombers, the Russian military was quoted as saying.

Encounters between Russian warplanes and U.S. fighter planes have become more frequent in recent years, as Russia seeks to make a display of its military strength. In January, a Russian Russian Su-27 came within 1.5 meters of a U.S. Navy surveillance plane while it was flying in international airspace over the Black Sea.

There have also been encounters in European airspace between Russian warplanes and military aircraft of members of the NATO alliance.