The North American Aerospace Defense Command said in a statement Wednesday that the Russian aircraft’s first formation consisted of two bombers, along with two fighter jets, and was supported by airborne early warning and control aircraft.
The second formation consisted of two Russian bombers, which were supported by another airborne early warning and control aircraft. The Russian military aircraft arrived 32 nautical miles off the coast of Alaska, but remained in international airspace, and at no time did they enter the US sovereign airspace.
“These are important Russian structures in multiple locations,” a US defense official said of two recent interruptions. The US estimates that some Russian aircraft are just training missions. But it could be a sign that Moscow is suggesting that they are determined to speed up with American aircraft off the Russian coast.
Tuesday’s incident followed a similar incident last Wednesday, and this year is the eighth event in which Russian aircraft enter Canadian or Alaskan Air Defense identification zones.