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U.S., Canadian Jets Intercept Russian Reconnaissance Aircraft

Two Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft on Monday entered the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone, sparking the deployment of several NORAD aircraft including fighter jets. Petr Kovalyov / TASS

Two Russian military reconnaissance aircraft were intercepted and escorted for hours near Alaska by U.S. and Canadian air force jets, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said. 

The two Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft on Monday entered the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone, sparking the deployment of several NORAD aircraft including fighter jets, the command said.

The Russian aircraft entered and remained in the air defense identification zone, a security perimeter in international airspace, for about four hours.

They came as close as 50 nautical miles to the Alaskan coast, a NORAD statement said Tuesday. 

NORAD deployed F-22 and CF-18 fighters supported by a KC-135 Stratotanker and an E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft to track the Russians.

"The Russian aircraft did not enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace," they said.

NORAD is a joint U.S.-Canadian command focused on the defense of the North American airspace.

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