NORAD F-22s scrambled as Russian bombers approach Alaska airspace

Two North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) F-22 Raptor fighter jets positively identified and intercepted two Russian Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers at approximately 10 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, the NORAD Public Affairs Directorate announced.

NORAD F 22s scrambled as Russian bombers approach Alaskan airspace 001 A NORAD F-22 Raptor intercepting Russian Air Force Tu-95MS strategic bomber

The Russian bombers intercepted west of mainland Alaska were accompanied by two Russian Su-35S Flanker fighter jets. 

The Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and at no time did the aircraft enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace. 

Homeland defense is NORAD's top priority, the service said. The identification and monitoring of aircraft entering a US or Canadian Air Defense Identification Zone demonstrates how NORAD executes its aerospace warning and aerospace control missions for the United States and Canada. 

"The homeland is no longer a sanctuary and the ability to deter and defeat threats to our citizens, vital infrastructure, and national institutions starts with successfully detecting, tracking and positively identifying aircraft of interest approaching US and Canadian airspace," said General Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, the NORAD Commander. "NORAD employs a layered defense network of radars, satellites, as well as fighters to identify aircraft and determine the appropriate response."

NORAD is on alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Operation Noble Eagle is the name given to the military response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and applies to all air sovereignty and air defense missions in North America. NORAD is a binational command focused on the defense of both the US and Canada, the response to potential aerospace threats does not distinguish between the two nations, and draws on forces from both countries.