Russian Bombers Fly Within 8 Miles of US Airspace Off Alaska, Are Intercepted by US F-22s (excerpt)
(Source: Stars And Stripes; published June 10, 2020)
By Corey Dickstein
US Air Force F-22 Raptor fighters from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson fly over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. F-22s were scrambled on Wednesday to intercept two separate groups of Russian bombers which came within 20 miles of the US coast. (USAF file photo)
WASHINGTON --- Two formations of Russian military aircraft featuring four bombers and two fighter jets flew unusually close to American airspace Wednesday morning but were intercepted by F-22 fighters off Alaska’s coast, U.S. military officials said.

The first formation intercepted by the U.S. Raptor stealth fighters flew within 20 nautical miles of Alaska’s shore, bringing the Russian aircraft within 8 nautical miles of sovereign U.S. airspace, U.S. Northern Command said in a statement.

While Russian military aircraft, including bombers and fighters, routinely fly near American airspace, the incident Wednesday marked the closest that NORTHCOM officials have acknowledged Russian planes have flown to U.S. territory in recent years.

The first formation intercepted included two Tu-95 Bear bombers, two Su-35 Flanker fighter jets and an A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft, NORTHCOM said.

The second formation intercepted a short time later included two additional Bear bombers and another A-50, the statement said. Neither formation actually entered American airspace, officials said. (end of excerpt)


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