The U.S. military scrambled five aircraft Monday to intercept two groups of Russian warplanes that flew in opposite directions off the coast of Alaska but never entered sovereign U.S. airspace, officials with the bi-national North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) said Tuesday.
First, NORAD dispatched two F-22 Raptor stealth fighters based in Alaska to intercept one group of Russian airplanes — two Tu-95 strategic bombers known by NATO identification as “Bears” — said NORAD spokesperson Capt. Cameron Hillier of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
Two more Raptors were scrambled to intercept and accompany another group of two Russian Bears and two Su-35 fighter jets flying in the opposite direction, Hillier said.
The U.S. military also dispatched an E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system (AWACS) to monitor the situation, Hillier said.