Watch Russian reconnaissance aircraft off Alaskan coast intercepted by U.S., Canadian jets

Two Russian reconnaissance aircraft were flying in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone for about four hours.

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By Minyvonne Burke

Two Russian reconnaissance aircraft flying off the Alaskan coast were intercepted by U.S. and Canadian jets.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said in a tweet that the two Russian TU-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft were intercepted on Monday after they entered the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone.

The Russian jets came as close as 50 nautical miles to the coast of Alaska and never entered United States or Canadian airspace.

The aircraft entered the zone north of Alaska and flew in international airspace over the Beaufort Sea, according to the organization.

The Russian jets remained in the zone for about four hours and were escorted by NORAD fighter aircraft the entire time.

“NORAD continues to operate in the Arctic across multiple domains,” NORAD General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy said in a statement on Twitter.

“As we continue to conduct exercises and operations in the north, we are driven by a single unyielding priority: defending the homelands," he added.

The Russian aircraft were intercepted by U.S. F-22 stealth jets and Canadian CF-18 fighter jets.

The Royal Canadian Air Force said in a statement on Twitter that it worked with the U.S. Air Force to do "what we do best" and keep North America safe.