Russian Aircraft Spotted Near Alaska
U.S. territory extends 12 nautical miles beyond the shore and Russian bombers have been spotted within 36 miles of the coast for two consecutive nights. The first night, jets approached Kodiak Island. The second night, they approached Aleutian Islands.
The Russian aircraft were spotted by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), within the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), but they did manage to stay within international air space the entire time.
Bombers Spotted Second Consecutive Night
Fox contributor Jennifer Griffin reports:
“For the second consecutive night, Russia flew two long range, nuclear-capable Bear bombers off the coast of Alaska. This time, coming within 36 miles of mainland Alaska—flying north of the Aleutian Islands. The Tu-95 Bear-H Bombers were spotted by U.S. military radar at 9pm Eastern, 5pm local time.”
“This time, the U.S. Air Force did not scramble any fighter jets. Instead, it launched a single E-3 Sentry, early morning aircraft known as AWACS to make sure there were only the two Russian bombers flying near Alaska, and not flying underneath the large bombers.
Some Say Russians Showing Their Teeth
“The first encounter was described by a US military official as safe and professional and took place about 100 miles from Kodiak Island. US military officials downplayed Monday’s midair interaction as “nothing out of the ordinary” and “not dissimilar from what we’ve seen in the past with respect to Russian long-range aviation.”
“But Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the Russians were “trying to show their teeth” by flying so close to the US coastline amid tensions between the two nations. “This was a show of force by the Russians to show us that they are still here,” Kinzinger said. It was “an attempt to come up as close as they could to our international borders to see what our reaction would be.”