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NORAD intercepts Russian bombers off west coast of Alaska for 2nd time this year

On Sept. 1, two Alaskan-based NORAD fighter jets visually intercepted and monitored two Russian bombers near the Aleutian Islands.

2 TU-95 ‘Bear’ long-range bomber aircraft never entered Canadian, U.S. airspace, says organization

Russian TU-95 "Bear" bombers pictured during a joint Kazakh-Russian military exercise in October 2008. NORAD intercepted and monitored two of these aircraft that were spotted flying near Alaska on Sept. 1. (Reuters)

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) says it intercepted two Russian bombers near the west coast of Alaska earlier this month.

That's according to a Friday news release from the bi-national organization, which is charged with aerospace warning and control for North America.

According to the release, on Sept. 1 around 12 p.m. ET, two Alaskan-based NORAD F-22 fighters saw and intercepted two TU-95 "Bear" long-ranger bomber aircraft flying in the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone. They monitored the bombers until they left the identification zone along the Aleutian Islands and headed west.

An air identification zone is airspace over land or water where the identification, location and control of aircraft is performed in the interest of national security.

NORAD said for operational security reasons it would not specify the distance the aircraft flew from the west coast of Alaska, but it said the bombers never entered Canadian or American sovereign airspace.

This was the second time this year that Russian bombers have been spotted near Alaska.

Two Russian TU-95 bombers and a TU-142 maritime aircraft were also intercepted by two NORAD F-22s near the western coast of Alaska in international airspace on May 11, according to a statement NORAD spokesperson Canadian Army Maj. Andrew Hennessy made to CNN.

A spokesperson for NORAD told CBC News it would not be providing additional comment beyond the statement.

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