According to a U.S. official, a pair of Russian bombers flew close to Alaska, they came within 35 nautical miles of the coastline. This is the second time in two days Russian bombers flew this close to the US.
Twice in one week:
Last Monday was the first time in over two years that Russian military aircraft have flown this close to the U.S. mainland.
The official said that the two Russian TU-95 Bear bombers flew a path along the Aleutian Islands directed northeast toward the mainland on Tuesday evening.
The two aircrafts entered the U.S. military’s Air Defense Identification Zone, as it extends 200 nautical miles from shore, despite the fact that they were flying in international airspace. U.S. airspace extends 12 miles from the U.S. coastline.
While transiting the U.S. military’s Air Defense Identification Zone, unidentified military aircrafts are required to identify themselves
Elemendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage dispatched a U.S. Air Force E-3 AWAC aircraft to intercept the Russian aircrafts.
The two Russian bombers were accompanied by the U.S. aircraft for several hours before they turned back 35 miles from the coast.
Two Russian TU-95 bombers came within 100 miles south of Kodiak Island last Monday. However, they turned back after they were intercepted by two U.S. Air Force F-22 fighters and an E-3 AWAC., entered
Also on Monday, a third Russian aircraft, an IL-38 maritime patrol plane the American ADIZ. It wasn’t intercepted by a U.S. aircraft but it turned back quickly
According to North American Aerospace Defense Command, prior to this week, the summer of 2015 was the last time there had been intercepts of Russian military aircraft
Reason for the hiatus:
A series of fatal crashes involving the aircraft the TP-95 that summer could be the reason why the aircrafts underwent a safety stand-down and haven’t been intercepted since the summer of 2015.