U.S. intercepts two Russian bombers
Two Russian long-range bombers were intercepted off the coast of Alaska by a pair of F-22 Raptor fighter jets Friday, the military said.
The Tu-95 bombers were flying in the Air Defense Identification Zone in the Bering Sea north of the Aleutian Islands, where they were visually identified and shadowed by the U.S. jets at 10 a.m., said Navy Capt. Scott Miller, a North American Aerospace Defense Command spokesman.
The bombers did not enter North American sovereign airspace, he said in a statement. Miller declined to say how close the bombers came to U.S. land. Fox News reported they flew as close as 55 miles off Alaska’s west coast.
The encounter was the first of its kind in just over a year, Miller said. A similar incident occurred off Alaskan waters in April 2017 in what officials have described as routine encounters where territorial lines meet.
The identification zone extends about 200 miles off the Alaskan coast and is mostly international airspace, Miller said.