North America Aerospace Defense Command revealed on Tuesday that US F-22 stealth jets and Canadian CF-18 fighters intercepted Russian aircraft off the north coast of Alaska in the Beaufort Sea. The two Russian aircraft, Tu-142 marine reconnaissance assets entered and remained in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone for four hours but never entered either U.S. or Canadian airspace.
The F-22s and CF-18s, supported by a KC-135 refueling aircraft and an E-3 Airborne early warning and control aircraft, escorted the marauding Russian aircraft for the entire four hours that they remained. The North American Aerospace Defense Command said, “The Russian aircraft entered the ADIZ north of Alaska and remained within it for approximately 4 hours. NORAD fighter aircraft escorted the TU-142s for the duration of their time in the ADIZ.”
The aircraft came no closer than 50 miles to Alaska’s coast on their Monday incursion. The area the Russian aircraft were operating in is one that they fly training aircraft frequently, including nuclear-capable bombers, in the past. On those occasions, U.S. aircraft have intercepted and escorted the aircraft as well.