NORAD scrambled fighter jets to intercept Russian Tu-95 bombers off the coast of Alaska on Valentine’s Day – the second incident in a week
- Several Russian strategic bombers and fighter jets were intercepted by NORAD
- The flights were in no way related to Chinese spy balloons
- NORAD claimed that it ‘had anticipated’ this Russian activity
For the second time this week, NORAD has scrambled fighter jets on Valentine’s Day to intercept Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers off the coast of Alaska, it claimed.
Several Russian strategic bombers and fighter jets were intercepted by North American air defense forces as they flew over international airspace near Alaska, they said, in routine incidents unrelated to tensions over the war in Ukraine.
The aircraft, which were identified on Monday, did not enter U.S. or Canadian airspace and did not pose a threat, the joint U.S.-Canadian centre said in a statement dated February 14.
It added that the Russian flights were in no way related to the mysterious spate of airborne objects shot down by the U.S. military over North America in the past few weeks, the details of which remain unknown.
‘NORAD had anticipated this Russian activity … Two NORAD F-16 fighters intercepted the Russian aircraft,’ it said.
The Pentagon is seen from Air Force One as it flies over Washington, March 2, 2022
The United States also frequently carries out surveillance operations that do not enter other countries’ airspace and such flights are a common part of military operations.
‘NORAD routinely monitors foreign aircraft movements and as necessary, escorts them,’ the statement added.
President Joe Biden will address millions of unnerved Americans on Thursday about the sudden spate of unknown objects being shot down by US military jets after invading national airspace.
The speech is happening at 2pm Eastern Time, the White House announced this afternoon.
Biden’s Republican critics continue to come down hard on the administration over what they perceive as a lack of transparency over the recent incidents.
What the Pentagon believes to be a Chinese surveillance balloon was shot down off the coast of South Carolina on February 4 – but not before crossing several US states at a low enough altitude to be seen by the naked eye.
A US official said on Wednesday that that object is believed to have been headed for Guam and Hawaii before being blown off course.
Russia said on Wednesday that it had carried out several flights over international waters in recent days, including in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia.
President Joe Biden is expected to address the nation on the recent spate of unknown objects shot down by US military jets
It said two of its Tu-95MS strategic missile carriers had flown over the Bering Sea accompanied by Su-30 jets, and that it had made similar ‘routine’ flights north of Norway and over international waters near Russia’s far east.
It did not say whether its aircraft had been intercepted.
‘Long-range aviation pilots regularly perform flights over the neutral waters of the Arctic, North Atlantic, Black Sea, Baltic Sea and Pacific Ocean,’ Russia’s defence ministry said.
North American security forces have been on high alert since a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon crossed into U.S. airspace, prompting the United States to shoot it and other objects down as it combs the skies.
While Russia has carried out flights over the Bering Sea before, its neighbours in the region have become more concerned about Moscow’s military activity since its invasion of Ukraine last year.
Two Dutch F-35 fighters intercepted a formation of three Russian military aircraft near Poland and escorted them out, the Netherlands’ defence ministry said in a statement late on Monday.
NATO member states have also ramped up military exercises in the Arctic in recent years, as Russia has expanded and renewed its military infrastructure in the region.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk