US military intercepts six Russian jets off Alaska

The U.S. military intercepted six Russian military jets off the coast of Alaska on Thursday night, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said Friday.

US military intercepts six Russian jets off Alaska

U.S. F-22 fighter jets, supported by KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft, intercepted three groups of two Russian Tu-142 patrol jets that entered the Alaskan defense Identification Zone, NORAD said during a news release.

The Russian jets, which came within 50 nautical miles of the Alaskan shore, stayed in international airspace, NORAD said.

The Russian planes "loitered" within the defense identification zone for about five hours, the discharge added.

"Our northern approaches have had a rise in foreign military activity as our competitors still expand their military presence and probe our defenses," NORAD commander Gen. Glen VanHerck said during a statement. "This year, we've conducted quite a dozen intercepts, the foremost in recent years. The importance of our continued efforts to project defense operations in and thru the north has never been more apparent."

The encounter within the sky came hours after the U.S. military said a Russian submarine surfaced near Alaska.

U.S. Northern Command tweeted Thursday night that it had been "closely monitoring" the submarine.

"The current Russian maritime activity is happening in high sea well outside the U.S. territorial sea," Northern Command added. "We haven't received any requests for assistance from the Russian Navy or other mariners within the area

The Russian Defense Ministry said Friday it had been conducting major naval drills near Alaska, consistent with The Associated Press.

Russian navy chief Adm. Nikolai Yevmenov said quite 50 warships and about 40 aircraft were participating within the Bering Sea exercise, including several practice missile launches, the AP reported.

The us and its allies conducted their own major show of force Friday.

Nuclear-capable U.S. B-52 bombers, joined at various points by aircraft from quite a dozen NATO allies, flew over all 30 NATO countries Friday during a mission the U.S. military said was meant’ to point out alliance solidarity.

"U.S. security commitments to the NATO alliance remain ironclad," Gen. Tod Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command, said during a statement about the bomber exercise, dubbed "Allied Sky." "Today's bomber task force mission is another example of how the alliance sustains readiness, improves interoperability and demonstrates our ability to deliver on commitments from across the Atlantic."


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