The Control System from North American Aerospace Defense Command positively identified a group of two Russian maritime patrol aircraft flying off the coast of Alaska.
“North American Aerospace Defense Command identified a group of two Tu-142 Russian maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare aircraft entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone on Thursday, Aug. 1,” the command said in a Twitter post Friday.
The Russian Tu-142 maritime patrol aircraft remained in international airspace and at no time did the aircraft enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace.
NORAD employs a layered defense network of radars, satellites, and fighter aircraft to identify aircraft and determine the appropriate response. The identification and monitoring of aircraft entering a U.S. or Canadian ADIZ demonstrates how NORAD executes its aerospace warning and aerospace control missions for the United States and Canada.
Air Force Capt. Cameron Hillier, a NORAD spokesman, told Military.com on Friday that a positive identification was made electronically via the command’s early warning system radars west of the ADIZ.
“It was not an intercept” made by aircraft, Hillier said.
It is the first sighting of Russian aircraft in the ADIZ since May, Hillier said. The ADIZ stretches roughly 200 miles off Alaska’s coast.