US Air Force F-22 Raptors completed another series of intercepts of Russian Tu-95 bombers off Alaska on June 16, in the second such encounter in six days.
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Raptors previously intercepted Tu-95s in the Alaskan air defense identification zone in the morning hours of June 10.
On June 16, F-22 aircraft were supported by KC-135 Stratotankers and an E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System in completing two intercepts of Russian bomber aircraft formations.
The Russian bombers were on a scheduled 11-hour flight, according to the country’s defense ministry.
The first formation of Russian aircraft consisted of two Tu-95 bombers, accompanied by two Su-35 fighter jets and was supported by an A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft.
The second formation consisted of two Tu-95 bombers supported by an A-50. The Russian military aircraft came within 32 nautical miles of Alaskan shores; however, remained in international airspace and at no time did they enter United States sovereign airspace.
On the same day, the Russian defense ministry said the country’s radar stations tracked the flight of US B-52 bombers over the northeastern Pacific. The ministry added that the bombers flew in neutral airspace over the Pacific Ocean.
“For the eighth time this year, Russian military aircraft have penetrated our Canadian or Alaskan air defense identification zones and each and every time NORAD forces were ready to meet this challenge,” said General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, the NORAD Commander.