US defense forces have spotted and accompanied Russian war planes near the airspace in Alaska for the second day in a row.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command says its F-22 stealth hunters have intercepted groups of Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers in the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Monday and Tuesday.
The Russian fighter planes did not enter the American or Canadian sovereign airspace and were accompanied on both days by NORAD hunters by the ADIZ without incident.
A NORAD spokesperson told DailyMail.com that he was unaware of Russian flights within ADIZ on consecutive days since Russia resumed long-haul aviation patrols in 2007.
A NORAD F-22 (below) is seen on Tuesday to intercept and escort a Russian Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber (above) within the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone
Tuesday's interception (above) was the second such Russian outage in two consecutive days, a very irregular event since Russia resumed long-range aviation patrols in 2007
The Alaska ADIZ (seen in double hatching) extends beyond the American sky. All civilian vessels entering the zone must identify themselves. All military vehicles are checked and intercepted
NORAD says that Russia performs on average six to seven such missions per year on average, but the incidents this week this year were the fourth and fifth interception.
The ADIZ is a buffer that extends beyond the American airspace in which all civil aircraft must identify themselves.
Russian military aircraft that fly through the ADIZ during a training mission may normally continue once, provided they do not attempt to enter American airspace.
During the Tuesday incident, two pairs of F-22 fighter jets, each with an E-3 Sentry that provided surveillance, intercepted a pair of Tu-95 bombers.
NORAD says the bombers invaded ADIZ in Alaska and were intercepted by two F-22 & # 39; s before they left and then entered ADIZ in Alaska accompanied by two Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets.
NORAD committed an additional two F-22 & # 39; s and E-3 to relieve the initial interception aircraft. A KC-135 tanker aircraft supported both NORAD interception teams.
On Monday a NORAD F-22 (above) is seen that intercepts and escorts a Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber (below) within the Alaska ADIZ
On Monday two Tu-95 & # 39; s (top and bottom right) can be seen after they were intercepted. Russia said it was conducting an observation flight in accordance with international law
Russian President Vladimir Putin can be seen on Wednesday at the Congress of the Independent Trade Union Federation in Moscow. The air interception represented an escalation of tensions
In a statement, the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged that its bombers had planned flights along the west coast of Alaska and the north coast of the Aleutians and were overshadowed by American F-22 hunters.
According to the ministry, the flight lasted approximately 11 hours.
& # 39; Two strategic Tu-95MS rocket-bearing air and space bombers performed scheduled flights in the airspace above the neutral waters of the Chukotsk, Bering and Okhotsk seas, and also along the west coast of Alaska and "North Coast of the Aleutian Islands," the ministry said in a statement, according to a state-led news agency TASS.
The Russian Ministry of Defense emphasized that it is conducting its flights in accordance with international airspace rules and without violating the borders of other states.
The ministry said its long-distance pilots regularly run flights across the international waters of the Arctic, the Atlantic, the Black Sea and the Pacific.
E-3 sentries (as shown above in a file photo) were responsible for monitoring the American interceptions of the Russian strategic bombers on Monday and Tuesday.
On Tuesday, a KC-135 Stratotanker (as seen above in a file photo) supported the interception crews with air tank tanks as they followed and accompanied Russian war planes
Monday's interception was very similar, with two pairs of Tu-95 bombers intercepted and escorted by two pairs of F-22 & # 39; s.
Two Su-35 hunters were also seen with the second pair of Russian bombers.
The Russian planes did not enter American airspace during one of the interceptions this week.
& # 39; Our ability to deter and defeat threats to our citizens and vital infrastructure begins with the detection, tracking and positive identification of aircraft in our airspace & # 39 ;, said General Terrence J. O & # 39; Shaughnessy, commander from NORAD, in a statement about Monday's incident.
& # 39; We are on the move 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, & # 39; said O & # 39; Shaughnessy.
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