The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) announced the interception of two groups of Russian strategic bombers at once from the air borders of Alaska.
“The first group consisted of two Tu-95 bombers, which were accompanied by Su-35 fighters and the A-50 long-range radar detection and control aircraft, they approached a distance of 20 nautical miles (37 km) to the shores of Alaska,” the NORAD report said. “The second group, consisting of two Tu-95 bombers and long-range radar detection and control of the A-50 aircraft, was approaching a distance of 34 nautical miles (59.3 km).”
Fighter aircraft of the fifth-generation F-22 Raptor was raised towards Russian aircraft. They were assisted by KC-135 Stratotanker refueling aircraft and the E-3 AWACS early warning aircraft. The American command also noted that the Russian “strategists”, as well as the fighters and scouts accompanying them, did not violate American air borders and remained in international air space all the time.
“The interception of several Russian aircraft at once demonstrates the readiness and ability of NORAD forces to defend their homeland 24 hours 7 days a week and 365 days a year,” commented the situation, NORAD commander General Terrence O’Shaughnessy.
A few hours earlier, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced the completion of four planned strategic missile carriers Tu-95MS Long-Range Aviation of the Aerospace Forces (VKS). The route of the Russian “bears” passed over the neutral waters of the Chukchi, Bering and Okhotsk seas, as well as the northern part of the Pacific Ocean. “Take-off was carried out from airfields on the territory of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and the Amur Region. At certain stages of the route, Russian planes accompanied the US Air Force F-22 fighters, ”the Russian military said in a statement.