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U.S. Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Bombers Flying Near Alaska

by Courtney Kube /
Image: Tupolev Tu-95 Bear
A Tupolev Tu-95 Bear, a four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber flies over the Voronezh region, Russia on Sept. 20, 2014.Oleg Kharseev / Kommersant via Getty Images file

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The U.S. scrambled jet fighters to intercept two Russian bombers that flew near the Alaskan coast on Monday night, several American officials said.

The Russian long-range TU-95 Bear bombers breached airspace around the U.S and Canada known as the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone in which aircraft must be readily identified and report details of their course and destination. The Russian bombers stayed in international airspace.

The bombers flew near the Aleutian Islands. The Russians also had maritime patrol aircraft in the vicinity.

The U.S. scrambled two F-22 fighters from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska, to intercept the Russian planes.

There was no bridge-to-bridge communication between the US and Russian aircraft, but three U.S. officials said the Russians acted “very professionally.”

While this is the first time Russian bombers have been off the Alaskan coast since 2015, they have flown in the area about 60 times since 2007.

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