US has confirmed that two Russian TU-95 Bear nuclear-capable bombers were intercepted by two F-22 Raptor fighter jets in international airspace off the coast of Kodiak Island in Alaska.
The intercept of Russian bombers was described as safe and professional. U.S Air Force scrambled two F-22 Raptors as early warning to intercept the Russian TU-95 bombers witch flew into the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone, about 100 miles from the coast of Kodiak Island.
US F-22 Raptors flew next to the Russian TU-95 bombers for 12 minutes, before the Russian bombers parted and circled back to their home base in eastern Russia.
This is the first time that Russia send bombers so close to the U.S Air Defense Identification Zone since Donald J. Trump took office in White House. Last week Secretary of State Rex Tilleson during his visit Moscow said that U.S-Russian relations were “at a low point” while sitting next to Russian Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Secretary of State Tillerson during his visit in Moscow reviewed the recent chemical weapons attack in Russia, as well as the Russian interference in the U.S presidential election in 2016.
During the conference Tillerson said: “We need to attempt to put an end to this steady degradation, which is doing nothing to restore the trust between our two countries or to make progress on the issues of the greatest importance to both of us,”.
Monday’s intercept is the latest of numerous events like this involving Russian military, Russian. The Viktor Leonov, a Russian spy ship, was spotted near the U.S coastline in recent months. In February, the USS Porter was sailing in the Black Sea when it had three encounters with Russian aircraft. On July 4, 2015, when a pair of Russian bombers flew off the coasts of Alaska and California, coming as close as 40 miles to Mendocino, California.