U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft intercepted two Russian IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft off the coast of Alaska in international airspace, according to a recent North American Aerospace Defense Command news release.
F-22s, CF-18s, supported by KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, intercepted Russian IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone last night.
The IL-38s remained in international airspace and at no time did the aircraft enter the United States or Canadian sovereign airspace.
“For the fifth time this month, NORAD has demonstrated our readiness and ability to defend the homeland by intercepting Russian military aircraft entering our ADIZ,” said General O’Shaughnessy, NORAD Commander. “The mission assurance measures we are taking to protect our people ensure we are meeting the challenges and operating through the COVID-19 environment to defend our nations, just as NORAD forces have for more than 60 years.”
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 US or Canadian ADIZ demonstrates how NORAD executes its aerospace warning and aerospace control missions for the United States and Canada.
NORAD is a bi-national command focused on the defense of both the United States and Canada; the response to potential aerospace threats does not distinguish between the two nations and draws on forces from both countries.
Last week, Russian fighter jets intercepted two American B-52H strategic bombers over the Sea of Okhotsk, which were flying a considerable distance from Russia’s state border.