June 27, 2020 / 9:07 PM / 11 days ago

NORAD fighter jets intercept Russian military aircraft off Alaska

(This June 27 story has been corrected to rectify first paragraph to indicate that Russian aircraft were not jets)

By Diane Bartz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. F-22 stealth fighter aircraft scrambled on Saturday to intercept four Russian reconnaissance planes off Alaska, said NORAD, the U.S and Canadian defense organization.

The interception of the Russian Tu-142s marks the 10th time this year that Russian military aircraft have been intercepted off Alaska, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said in a statement.

The Russian aircraft did not enter U.S. or Canadian sovereign airspace, NORAD said.

The intercepting aircraft are based at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, said a NORAD spokesman, Captain Cameron Hillier.

The incident is one of a series of back-and-forth probes by Russia and the United States this year. On June 19, Russia scrambled fighter jets to intercept two U.S. B-52 bombers flying over the Sea of Okhotsk, off Russia’s far eastern coast, the Interfax news agency reported.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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