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9/11 anniversary: Russian bombers intercepted near Alaska by United States fighter jets

9/11 anniversary: Russian bombers intercepted near Alaska by United States fighter jets

USA fighter jets intercepted two Russian nuclear-capable bombers west of Alaska on Tuesday, according to a statement from North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

Defense officials told Fox that two Russian bombers came within 55 miles of Alaska's west coast in May, although the aircraft did not enter United States airspace, as was the case in the other reported incidents.

The bombers entered the US air defense identification zone near mainland Alaska Tuesday around 10:00 pm eastern time, and were accompanied by two Su-35 Flanker fighter jets, the command said in a statement. A defense official told the newspaper that the Russian bombers, which entered the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), south of the Aleutian Islands, may have been practicing cruise missile strikes on USA missile defense systems based in Alaska.

The Navy's major ballistic missile submarine base is located at Bangor, Washington.

It's the second time this month that Russian aircraft have been intercepted in Air Defense Identification Zone, Hennessy said.

The aircraft were "intercepted and monitored" by the US jets until they left the zone, heading west.

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Two Russian Tu-95 bombers were also intercepted by F-22's off the coast of Alaska in May, almost a year after the last encounter of this kind.

Terrance O'Shaughnessy says radar, satellites and fighter jets are used to identify aircraft and determine appropriate responses.

Tuesday's incident comes just a week after a similar interception of Russian bombers south of the Aleutian Islands.

The Russian military recently launched its largest military drill since 1981.

A previous interception of bombers occurring on September 1 involved bombers without any Russian fighter jet escorts, CNN noted. According to the country's defense ministry, the Vostok - or "East" - exercise involves some 300,000 troops and over 1,000 aircraft.