U.S. fighter jets intercepted four Russian reconnaissance planes Saturday near Alaska, CNN reported.
The encounter — acknowledged in a statement from NORAD — follows similar incidents this month in which U.S. F-22 jets intercepted Russian nuclear-capable bombers near Alaska on three separate occasions, CNN reported.
The last previous one was Wednesday when F-22 fighter jets interception two Russian IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft entered the Alaskan Zone.
In its statement, NORAD also said the Russian Tu-142 aircraft came within 65 nautical miles south of the Alaskan Aleutian island chain and remained for nearly eight hours, CNN reported. The statement added the Russians remained in international airspace and did not enter either U.S. or Canadian airspace.
“This year alone, NORAD forces have identified and intercepted Russian military aircraft including bombers, fighters, and maritime patrol aircraft on 10 separate occasions when they have flown into the ADIZ,” said NORAD commander Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, CNN reported.
“Despite COVID-19, we remain fully ready and capable of conducting our no-fail mission of homeland defense,” he said.
Meanwhile, Stars and Stripes reported a Russian defense ministry statement announced a Russian fighter jet intercepted two U.S. reconnaissance aircraft and a refueling tanker as they flew in “neutral” airspace over the Black Sea.
The military news outlet reported that intercept was at least the 12th this year involving U.S. and Russian aircraft worldwide — most of which have occurred in the past month.
The U.S. planes were in international airspace “at a considerable distance from the state border of the Russian Federation” when they were intercepted by an Su-30 from Russia’s Southern Military District, the defense ministry said in a statement that accompanied a video shot by the Russian air crew, Stars and Stripes reported.
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