American fighter jets intercept Russian bombers outside Alaska

A Russian Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber, such as those intercepted near Alaska’s Aleutian Islands on Friday, is pictured here in Moscow in 2015. (Alexander Nemenova/AFP/Getty Images)
The U.S. military says it intercepted two Russian long-range bombers in the air space near Alaska on Friday.

The Air Force Times reports that officials with the North American Aerospace Defense Command said the incident took place over international waters north of the Aleutian chain. F-22 Raptor fighter jets were dispatched from Alaska to intercept the Russian Tu-95 Bear Bombers, which never entered actual U.S. air space, and were escorted away without any problems.

Such incidents are fairly routine in the airspace around Alaska. There were multiple interceptions last summer after a lull in 2016. Elsewhere around the globe this year, U.S. planes were escorted away by Russian aircraft in the Black Sea region.

While there is nothing illegal about the probing flights, the tactic is seen as a mild provocation and way of testing an adversary’s air defense response capabilities.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: NATO wants to keep the Arctic an area of low tensions, Radio Canada International

Denmark: Denmark’s new defence agreement renews focus on protecting the Baltic, Radio Canada International

Finland: Finland, Sweden and US building three-way defence ties, Yle News

Norway: Simulated attack on Northern Norway targets by Russian bombers revealed, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia to link military installations with trans-Arctic cable, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Should Gov be able to call on Finns if Sweden attacked?, Radio Sweden

United States: Trump signs defense bill to allow more missile interceptors in Alaska, Alaska Public Media

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media

For more news from Alaska visit Alaska Public Media.

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