U.S. and Canadian Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Reconnaissance Aircraft by Alaska

Two Russian reconnaissance planes were escorted by U.S. and Canadian jets.
Fabienne Lang
Russian reconnaissance plane being escorted by NORAD aircraftNORAD

Monday, 9 March, saw the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, intercept two Russian reconnaissance aircraft near Alaska. 

The Russian planes were in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) for four hours, remaining roughly 50 nautical miles away from the Alaskan coast, staying out of U.S. and Canadian airspace.

Fighter jets

The two Russian planes were TU-142 maritime reconnaissance planes and were intercepted by U.S. F-22 stealth jets, and Canadian CF-18 fighters who escorted the TU-142s during their flyby. 

What happened on March 9th shows how NORAD operates its aerospace controlling and warning missions for the United States and Canada — their primary goal is identifying and monitoring any aircraft that enters the U.S. or Canadian ADIZ. 


It's quite normal for Russian military aircraft to be intercepted in this zone by NORAD. They operate in the area as part of their training and have previously flown nuclear-capable bombers into the zone. The U.S. military has reciprocated with similar intercepts. 

"NORAD employs a layered defense network of radars, satellites, and fighter aircraft to identify aircraft and determine the appropriate response," said NORAD in a statement.

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"NORAD continues to operate in the Arctic across multiple domains," said Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, NORAD Commander. "As we continue to conduct exercises and operations in the north, we are driven by a single unyielding priority: defending the homelands."

NORAD focuses on a bi-national command of both the U.S. and Canada, focusing on their defense. Potential aerospace threats are not distinguished between these two nations, with forces from both sides being drawn together should any issues arise. 

U.S. and Canadian Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Reconnaissance Aircraft by Alaska
NORAD intercepts two Russian reconnaissance aircraft over Alaska, Source: NORAD
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