Russian strategic bombers conducted flights within the U.S. defense zone close to northern Alaska and the Aleutian Islands last week in Moscow's latest incident of nuclear saber rattling against the United States, according to defense and military officials.
Two Bear H nuclear-capable bombers were detected flying into the military's Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) near the Aleutians, where a strategic missile defense radar is located, and Alaska's North Slope region by the Arctic and Chukchi Seas on April 28 and 29, military officials told the Washington Free Beacon.
Lt. Cmdr. Bill Lewis, a spokesman with the U.S. Northern Command, confirmed the fighter intercept of the latest bomber incursion but declined to provide details.
"Two U.S. F-22's from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, were launched and visually identified Russian aircraft on the night of April 28, as the Russian Air Force flew standard out of area flights near Alaska," Lewis said.
The bombers did not enter U.S. airspace, he said.
However, the Alaska ADIZ is a formal national security zone used by the military to monitor both civilian and military aircraft. The dispatch of F-22s is an indication the bomber flights posed a potential threat to U.S. territory.