COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – The Alaskan Region of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) detected, tracked, positively identified, and intercepted four Russian aircraft entering and operating within the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Feb. 13, 2023.
Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace. This Russian activity in the North American ADIZ occurs regularly and is not seen as a threat, nor is the activity seen as provocative. NORAD had anticipated this Russian activity and, as a result of our planning, was prepared to intercept it.
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 also assesses that this Russian flight activity is in no way related to recent NORAD and U.S. Northern Command operations associated with airborne objects over North America during the last two weeks.
The Russian aircraft included TU-95 BEAR-H and SU-35 fighter aircraft. Two NORAD F-16 fighters intercepted the Russian aircraft. Supporting NORAD aircraft included two F-35A fighters, one E-3 Sentry (AWACS) and two KC-135 Stratotankers. NORAD tracks and positively identifies foreign military aircraft that enter the ADIZ.
NORAD routinely monitors foreign aircraft movements and as necessarv, escorts them from the ADIZ. 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.