U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to chase away Russian bombers that approached the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone on Monday.
The aircraft, which were identified on Feb. 13, did not enter United States or Canadian airspace and did not pose a threat, the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) said in a statement dated Feb. 14.
According to a statement from NORAD, Russian aircraft, which included Tu-95 BEAR-H and Su-35 fighter jets, remained in international airspace and did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace.
“Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace. This Russian activity in the North American ADIZ occurs regularly and is not seen as a threat, nor is the activity seen as provocative,” it added.
It added that the Russian flights were in no way related to the mysterious spate of airborne objects shot down by the U.S. military over North America in the past few weeks.
“NORAD had anticipated this Russian activity and, as a result of our planning, was prepared to intercept it … Two NORAD F-16 fighters intercepted the Russian aircraft,” it said.
NORAD also sent out two F-35A fighters, an E-3 Sentry, and two KC-135 Stratotankers to assist.