Russian Bombers Escorted by US F-22s Over Neutral Arctic Waters

Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers were escorted by US F-22 fighter jets for 40 minutes during a routine flight over neutral waters in the Arctic Ocean. US and Canadian military forces said the jets never entered US airspace.

The Tu-95MS planes, together with Tu-142 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, were conducting planned training flights over the neutral waters of the Arctic Ocean, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, Major General Igor Konashenkov, a defense ministry spokesman, said on Saturday.

“The Russian Air Forces’ aircraft were escorted by two US F-22 fighter jets, which did not approach closer than 100 meters, at the part of the route for 40 minutes,” he added, RT reported.

Earlier, CNN reported that two Russian Tu-95 bombers had been intercepted by US F-22s off the Alaskan coast.

“Two Alaskan-based NORAD [North American Aerospace Defense Command] F-22 fighters intercepted and visually identified two Russian Tu-95 ‘Bear’ long-range bomber aircraft flying in the Air Defense Identification Zone around the western coast of Alaska, north of the Aleutian Islands,” NORAD and USNORTHCOM spokesman Canadian Army Maj. Andrew Hennessy said in a statement.

Hennessy stressed that the Russian bombers never entered US airspace, adding that the Tu-95s were intercepted and monitored by the F-22s until the bombers left the ADIZ along the Aleutian Island chain heading west.

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