U.S. and Canadian jet fighters on Monday intercepted a pair of Russian military aircraft that came as close as 50 nautical miles to the Alaskan coast.
The U.S. and Canadian air crews were assigned to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, better known as NORAD. They flew F-22s and CF-18s as they escorted the Russian Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft for about four hours through a region known as the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone.
The Russians did not stray into U.S. or Canadian airspace during their journey, NORAD officials said.
“NORAD continues to operate in the Arctic across multiple domains,” said Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, NORAD commander. “As we continue to conduct exercises and operations in the north, we are driven by a single unyielding priority: defend the homelands.”