#Russian nuclear-capable bombers intercepted by NORAD off of Alaska

#Russian nuclear-capable bombers intercepted by NORAD off of Alaska

June 10, 2020 | 5:10pm

US jets intercepted two formations of Russian nuclear-capable bombers near Alaska early Wednesday, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

The first wave included five aircraft, among them two bombers, according to NORAD, which tweeted images of the interception.

“The first formation consisted of two Tu-95 bombers, accompanied by two Su-35 fighter jets and an A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft, which came within 20 nautical miles of Alaskan shores,” wrote NORAD in one tweet.

Some time later, a second, smaller formation was also picked up.

“The second formation consisted of two Tu-95 bombers supported by an A-50 and came within 32 nm,” according to NORAD.

The agency did not detail the exact time of either incident, writing only that they occurred “early this morning.”

NORAD stressed that neither group made it out of international airspace before they were turned off by US jets, including F-22 Raptor fighters.

“Intercepting multiple Russian aircraft demonstrates NORAD forces’ readiness and capability to defend the homelands 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year,” said NORAD Commander General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy in a statement.

“Flying air patrols protects the approaches to our nations and sends a clear message we continue executing our homeland defense missions with the same capability and capacity we always bring to the fight.”

In a statement to state-owned media outlet Sputnik, the Russian Defence Ministry echoed that the 11-hour planned flight took place in neutral airspace — but did not divulge its intent.

“Four strategic Tu-95MS missile carriers of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ long-range aviation conducted a planned flight over the neutral waters of the Chukchi Sea, the Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the northern part of the Pacific Ocean,” the statement read. “At certain stages of the flight, the Russian planes were escorted by US Air Force F-22 fighters.”


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