Washington US F-22 stealth jets intercepted four Russian bombers and two Russian Su-35 fighter jets off the coast of Alaska on Monday, according to a statement from North American Aerospace Defense Command.
The Russian nuclear capable long-range bombers flew into the Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends approximately 200 miles off Alaska’s western coast.
The Russian bomber flights are seen by US military officials as part of Moscow’s effort to train its military for a potential crisis while simultaneously sending a message of strength to adversaries.
This latest intercept comes amid tensions with Russia on a wide range of geopolitical issues and a week after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Russian Vladimir Putin in the resort town of Sochi where he warned Russia about interfering in US elections, taking a tougher public line than President Donald Trump on the issue.
US F-22s fighter jets and an E-3 Airborne Early Warning and Control System from North American Aerospace Defense Command “positively identified and intercepted a total of four Tupolev Tu-95 bombers and two Su-35 fighters entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on May 20,” NORAD said in a statement.