Air Force jets intercept 2 Russian bombers flying close to Alaska
Tuesday | Jun 30, 2013 at 3:07 AM CNA
The US Air Force launched a fighter jet on Monday to intercept Russian bombers flying close to Alaska, the second time the Air Force has intercepted Russian aircraft near the continental US since the Cold War ended.
An F-22 Raptor flew overhead near Alaska following three Russian bombers that flew near North America on Monday, the Air Force said in a Monday release.
Russia’s Defense Ministry says two of its Tu-95 bombers were intercepted by the U.S. during flying near Alaska.
The Russian planes were stopped during what it called “a routine combat interception of a civilian aircraft.” The ministry said the Tu-95s passed near the city of Anchorage. It did not elaborate on how far away the aircraft were from the U.S. military base.
“The Russian aircrafts flew over the Aleutian Islands, flying parallel to our west-northwest military aircrafts and naval ships. It is possible that their flight was a coincidence but the intercept was not a routine one,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The Associated Press reported that the U.S. said in a statement that the Russian aircraft were intercepted as they flew near what the Air Force calls the Aleutian Chain, which links Alaska to the Aleutian Islands.
The Associated Press and other media outlets used the “Aleutian Chain” and “Aleutian Islands” terms in describing the area where Russian aircraft flew near Alaska, although the chain goes much farther north, and the islands are part of the state of Alaska.
The Air Force said Monday the Tu-95s flew over Anchorage, Alaska about 25 miles (40 km) north of Anchorage. The jets then flew south-southwest and then turned away from Alaska to head toward Russia.
The Air Force said the next day that the Russian craft entered Russian airspace and were intercepted by the U.S. military plane after reaching an altitude of 100 km (60 miles) from a base in Fairbanks.
The Russian Air Force said in a statement Monday that two Tu-95s flew near Alaska on Sunday near Fairbanks, Alaska, in the same area where three others flew the previous day. The Russian statement said