In this photo, shared by the North American Aerospace Defense Command on Twitter, an F-22 intercepts a Russian Tu-95 bomber that entered the Alaskan air defense identification zone on May 21, 2019. NORAD photo via Twitter.
For the second time in two days, four USAF F-22s intercepted Russian Tu-95 bombers and Su-35 fighters entering the Alaskan air defense identification zone, the North American Aerospace Defense Command announced.
The F-22s, each accompanied by an E-3 Sentry, intercepted the bombers on May 21 as they flew into the ADIZ, exited, and then re-entered, NORAD announced. A KC-135 also launched to support the US aircraft.
This intercept came after a similar incident on May 20, as two pairs of F-22s and an E-3 intercepted four Tu-95s and two Su-35s in the ADIZ. While the aircraft entered the ADIZ, they did not enter US or Canadian airspace, NORAD announced.
The command has intercepted an average of six to seven Russian sorties per year since 2007.
“Our ability to deter and defeat threats to our citizens, vital infrastructure, and national institutions starts with successfully detecting, tracking, and positively identifying aircraft of interest approaching US and Canadian airspace,” NORAD Commander USAF Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy said in a statement.