NORAD announced Tuesday that on Monday, it scrambled jets to intercept 4 Russian inbound military aircraft near American airspace off the coast of Alaska.
According to an official statement regarding the incident, “The Alaskan Region of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) detected, tracked, positively identified, and intercepted four Russian aircraft entering and operating within the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on February 13, 2023.”
In response to the inbound aircraft, NORAD scrambled two U.S. F-16 fighter jets that were assisted by two F-35A fighters, two KC-135 Stratotankers, and an E-3 Sentry. The Russian aircraft included Tupolec Tu-95 “Bear” long-range bomber and an SU-35 fighter jet.
According to NORAD, having Russian aircraft near the coast of Alaska is “routine” as it has occurred an estimated 6 to 7 times a year over the past decade or longer. U.S. airspace was not breached, just the ADIZ perimeter.
“Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace. This Russian activity in the North American ADIZ occurs regularly and is not seen as a threat, nor is the activity seen as provocative,” the statement added.
While the Russian flight may be routine, it comes at amid heightened tension between Washington and Moscow, due to Russia’s war in Ukraine and the identification and takedown of a Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon earlier this month.