June 27 (UPI) — North American Aerospace Defense Command aircraft intercepted four Russian Tu-142 spy planes entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone on Saturday.
According to NORAD, U.S. F-22s, with assistance from KC-135 air refuelers and E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System, intercepted the Tu-142s, which came within 65 nautical miles of the Aleutian island chain off the coast of Alaska and “loitered in the ADIZ for nearly 8 hours.”
The planes remained in international airspace and did not fly into U.S. or Canadian airspace.
The interception marks the second incidence of a Russian aircraft near the U.S. border this week and the 10th this year, with multiple incidents taking place this month near the coast of Alaska.
On Wednesday NORAD F-22s intercepted two Russian IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft in the ADIZ.
On June 10, NORAD aircraft intercepted two waves of Russian bombers near Russian airspace — and on June 16, U.S. aircraft intercepted eight Russian military aircraft flying near Alaska in two separate incidents.
“This year alone, NORAD forces have identified and intercepted Russian military aircraft including bombers, fighters, and maritime patrol aircraft on 10 separate occasions when they have flown into the ADIZ,” said NORAD Cmdr. Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy in a statement posted to Twitter. “Despite COVID-19, we remain fully ready and capable of conducting our no-fail mission of homeland defense.”