US Air Force F-22 stealth fighters intercepted two Russian strategic bombers escorted by two fighter jets near Alaska on Tuesday, marking the second time Russia has done so in a month.
Two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers, which are traditionally armed with a variety of air-launched cruise missiles, accompanied by Su-35 Flanker fighter jets were picked up by US aircraft “west of mainland Alaska,” North American Aerospace Defense Command said in a statement Wednesday.
A similar incident occurred on Sept. 1, the Washington Free Beacon first reported. A defense official told the newspaper that the Russian bombers, which entered the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), south of the Aleutian Islands, may have been practicing cruise missile strikes on US missile defense systems based in Alaska.
The purpose of the most recent flyby is unknown, but it comes as Russia and China kick off Russia’s largest war games in decades.