US F-22 fighter jets intercept Russian bombers near Alaska

Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors fly above Syria in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, Feb. 2, 2018. The F-22 is an air superiority fighter that incorporates the latest technological advances in reduced observables, avionics, engine performance and aerodynamic design. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Colton Elliott)
This plane flies 1,500 mph and costs $412M
00:58 - Source: CNN
Washington CNN  — 

Two US F-22 “Raptor” fighter jets intercepted two Russian TU-95 bombers on Tuesday, according to a statement released by North American Aerospace Defense Command.

The Russian bombers “intercepted west of mainland Alaska were accompanied by two Russian SU-35 ‘Flanker’ fighter jets,” NORAD said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“The Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and at no time did the aircraft enter United States or Canadian airspace,” the statement said. It added that the intercept took place while the Russian bombers were in the US Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends about 200 miles off Alaska’s western coast.

Two NORAD F-22 "Raptor" fighter jets positively identified and intercepted two Russian Tu-95 "Bear" bombers at approximately 10 p.m. EDT Tuesday, September 11. The Russian bombers intercepted west of mainland Alaska were accompanied by two Russian Su-35 "Flanker" figher jets.

The incident marks the second time US F-22s have intercepted Russian bombers off the coast of Alaska this month. The previous intercept occurred on Sept. 1. However, during that earlier intercept, the Russian Tu-95s were not escorted by Russian fighter jets.

Two Russian Tu-95 bombers were also intercepted by F-22’s off the coast of Alaska in May, nearly a year after the last encounter of this kind.

A US official previously told CNN that the military sees these flights as routine and said they pose no concern.

Russia is currently conducting a large-scale military exercise in the country’s east, which Moscow has called the largest drill since before the end of the Soviet Union.

While the US military has cast doubt on the abilities of the new Russian weapons, a US Defense Intelligence Agency report from 2017 notes Moscow is in the midst of “a massive state armaments program” aimed at equipping its forces with “70% new or modernized equipment by 2020.”

CNN’s Brad Lendon contributed to this report.