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20 Apr 2017

Russian Tu-95 Bombers Fly Near Alaskan Coast, Again

The U.S. military tracked two Russian bombers that flew close to the Alaskan coast Tuesday afternoon in the second such event in as many days, American officials said.

This time, the planes — long-range Tu-95 bear bombers — were about 36 miles from the Alaskan coast.

The Russian aircraft were identified by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and, while they were well within the area known as the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), they stayed in international airspace at all times, officials said. No U.S. aircraft were launched to meet them.

Meanwhile, when two Tu-95 bombers breached the ADIZ on Monday, NORAD scrambled two F-22 fighters from Elmendorf Air Force Base to intercept the Russian jets.

There was no bridge to bridge communication between the U.S. and Russian aircraft on Monday, but several U.S. military officials told NBC News that the Russians acted "very professionally."

On Tuesday, NORAD instead choose to track the Russian aircraft with an Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft.

While Tuesday's flight marks only the second time Russian bombers have been off the Alaskan coast since 2015, they have flown in the area about 60 times since 2007.

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