The North American Defense Command (NORAD) revealed on Monday that Alaska-based F-22s and an E-3 Airborne Early Warning and Control System from NORAD identified then intercepted four Tupolev TU-95 bombers and two SU-35 fighters as they entered into the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Monday.
Initially, two of the Russian bombers entering the ADIZ were intercepted by responding F-22s, then two more bombers, these accompanied by two SU-35 fighters were intercepted by two additional F-22s. The situation was actively monitored by an E-3 providing surveillance. During the entire encounter the Russian aircraft remained in International Airspace and at no time entered into U.S. or Canadian airspace.
“NORAD’s top priority is defending Canada and the United States. Our ability to deter and defeat threats to our citizens, vital infrastructure, and national institutions starts with successfully detecting, tracking, and positively identifying aircraft of interest approaching U.S. and Canadian airspace,” said General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, the NORAD Commander. “NORAD is on alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
Russia’s Ministry of Defense reported that the aircraft were on scheduled sorties when the interceptions occurred.
NORAD is a binational command focused on the defense of both the U.S. and Canada and draws on forces from both countries.