ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - A total of six Russian aircraft were intercepted by US fighter jets off the coast of Alaska on Monday, officials with North American Aerospace Defense Command said in a statement.
American F-22 stealth jets located four Tupolev Tu-95 bombers and two Su-35 fighters, all Russian planes, inside of the Air Defense Identification Zone, a region 200 miles from Alaska's western-most coast.
In a statement issued by NORAD, officials stated, "NORAD fighters intercepted Russian bombers+fighters entering Alaskan ADIZ May 20."
"Two of the Russian bombers were intercepted by two F-22s, and a second group of bombers with Su-35 fighters was intercepted later by two additional F-22s, while the E-3 provided overall surveillance," NORAD stated.
On Twitter, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed details of the interception, stating the bombers were making "scheduled sorties over the neutral waters of the Chukotka, Bering and Okhotsk seas, as well as along the western coast of Alaska and the northern coast of the Aleutian Islands."
"At certain stages of the route, Russian aircraft were escorted by #F22 fighter jets of the #USAF. The total flight time exceeded 12 hours," the ministry said.
In response, NORAD reported that "the Russian bombers and fighters remained in international airspace and at no time did the aircraft enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace."
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