The US military tracked and identified Russian aircraft flying into Alaska’s Air Defense Identification Zone on two separate occasions on Monday, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
In both instances, it was a single Russian surveillance aircraft the military tracked. On the second occasion, which occurred on Monday night, NORAD sent F-22 fighter jets to intercept the surveillance aircraft.
“The Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace,” NORAD said in a statement.
The ADIZ is international airspace adjacent to Alaska that extends in places more than 100 miles from US territory. The US military initiates identification procedures for aircraft in the ADIZ in the interest of national security.
The incursions into the Alaskan Area Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) were not deemed to be escalatory, several defense officials told CNN.
The Russian aircraft did not operate in a way that was unsafe or unprofessional, one defense official said, nor did they enter Alaska’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Officials say a similar incident happened earlier this year.