The U.S. military scrambled a pair of F-22 stealth fighters Monday night to intercept two Russian long-range bombers that flew close to Alaska, a Pentagon official said Tuesday.
The Washington Examiner reports,
The Russian TU-95 “Bear” bombers are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, but there was no indication the planes were armed, and the bombers did not violate U.S. airspace, the official said.
The U.S. Air Force F-22s visually identified the plane and briefly flew alongside, before the Russian bombers changed course, and flew away from the U.S.
The interception was conducted a “safe and professional” manner, the official said, and there was no violation of any international norms.
Fox News Noted,
Last week in Moscow, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said U.S.-Russian relations were at a “low point” while sitting next to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
While Tillerson was in Moscow, three Russian bombers flew near the east coast of Japan, forcing the Japanese military to scramble 14 fighter jets at various times to intercept the bombers. A Russian spy plane also flew along Japan’s west coast.
The last time Russian bombers flew near the U.S. was July 4, 2015, when a pair of Russian bombers flew off the coasts of Alaska and California, coming as close as 40 miles to Mendocino, Calif.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called then-President Barack Obama to wish him a happy Independence Day while the bombers cruised the California coastline.