May 15, 2023
The Alaskan Region of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) detected, tracked, positively identified and intercepted six Russian aircraft operating in and near the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on May 11, 2023. Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace. These flights occurred as several planned large-scale U.S. military training exercises are ongoing within Alaska.
The Russian aircraft were TU-95 bombers, IL-78 tankers and SU-35 fighter aircraft. NORAD aircraft, including F-16 fighters, F-22 fighters, KC-135 Stratotankers, and E-3 AWACS, conducted the mission. This Russian activity in the North American ADIZ occurs regularly and is not seen as a threat. NORAD tracks and positively identifies all military aircraft that enter the ADIZ, routinely monitors aircraft movements and as necessary, escorts them from the ADIZ.
Since Russia resumed out of area Long Range Aviation activity in 2007, NORAD has seen a yearly average of approximately six to seven intercepts of Russian military aircraft in the ADIZ. These numbers have varied each year from as high as 15 to as low as zero. NORAD employs a layered defense network of satellites, ground-based radars, airborne radar and fighter aircraft to track and identify aircraft and inform appropriate actions. We remain ready to employ a number of response options in defense of North America and Arctic sovereignty.
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