NORAD intercepts Russian aircraft entering Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone

USAF intercept

USAF intercept

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NORAD said the Russian bombers and fighter jets were intercepted "west of mainland Alaska" by the American fighter jets at 10 p.m. ET Tuesday, but did not give a more precise location.

The US Air Force said on Wednesday that two of their fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers near Alaska.

They did not fly into USA or Canadian airspace.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation released video of two Tu-95 "Bear" bombers and a pair of fighter jets taking off from an airbase in eastern Russia.

This air defense zone - known as an ADIZ - was declared unilaterally by the US after World War II and is not binding under any global treaty.

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The bombers entered the USA air defense identification zone near mainland Alaska Tuesday around 10:00 pm eastern time, and were accompanied by two Su-35 Flanker fighter jets, the command said in a statement. The zone extends about 200 miles off the Alaskan coast, and is mostly in worldwide airspace.

"NORAD, the joint USA and Canadian command", employs a layered defense network of radars, satellites, as well as fighters to identify aircraft and determine the appropriate response", he added.

In recent years, Russian Federation has been accused of flying dangerously close to U.S. aircraft and ships in eastern Europe's Black Sea, and repeatedly violating the airspace of U.S. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies in the Baltics.

The Russian warplanes did not enter US or Canadian sovereign airspace, the statement added.

The U.S. was the first to declare an ADIZ in the 1950s and around 20 other countries have since followed suit. The incident did occur, however, within the U.S. Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends 200 miles off Alaska's coast.

"Be advised that non-compliance may result in the use of force", the FAA says.

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