F-22 stealth fighters intercept Russian strategic bombers near Alaskan airspace

NASA's Global Hawk drone

NASA's Global Hawk drone

United States fighters intercepted six Russian military aircraft in global airspace west of Alaska, and shadowed them until they exited the area, the North American Air Defense Command said Tuesday.

"NORAD fighters intercepted Russian bombers + fighters entering Alaskan ADIZ May 20".

The Russian aircraft remained in global airspace and there were no further incidents.

The incident was confirmed in a separate post to social media by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which provided surveillance via an E-3 Sentry airborne early warning and control aircraft.

Russian military aircraft that cross through the ADIZ on a training mission are typically allowed to continue on once identified, as long as they do not attempt to enter US airspace.

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NORAD on Tuesday said that two F-22 stealth fighters initially intercepted two Tupolev Tu-95 Bear bombers. "The total flight time exceeded 12 hours".

Russian Federation said that its long-range aircraft regularly perform flights over the worldwide waters of the Arctic, the Atlantic, the Black Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

The Russian mission comes weeks before a major US and NATO-led naval exercise, dubbed "Baltic Operations" is set to kick off in the waters of the North Atlantic in mid-June.

USA officials say Russian bombers and jets have flown in the area several times a year for the last few years and have similarly been intercepted by U.S. or Canadian jets operating as part of NORAD. The Russian planes were said to be entering an area patrolled by the Royal Canadian Air Force at the time, The Associated Press reported. "Our ability to protect our nations starts with successfully detecting, tracking, and positively identifying aircraft of interest approaching USA and Canadian airspace", O'Shaughnessy said.

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