U.S., Canadian fighter planes scramble to escort Russian jets
In this Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2005 file photo, a supersonic Tu-160 strategic bomber with Russian President Vladimir Putin aboard flies above an airfield near the northern city of Murmansk. (Alexei Panov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
The Associated Press
Published Saturday, January 26, 2019 9:26PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, January 26, 2019 10:30PM EST
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Military authorities say U.S. Air Force and Canadian fighter jets were scrambled to escort two Russian bombers that were travelling near the North American coastline.
The North American Aerospace Defence Command says two F-22 and two CF-18 fighter jets identified two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers.
The Russian planes were said to be entering an area patrolled by the Royal Canadian Air Force on Saturday morning.
There were no reports of conflict between the Russian and the U.S. and Canadian jets.
NORAD says it uses radar, satellites and fighter aircraft to patrol the skies and monitor aircraft entering U.S. or Canadian airspace.
General Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, the NORAD commander, said in a statement that "NORAD's top priority is defending Canada and the United States.
"Our ability to protect our nations starts with successfully detecting, tracking, and positively identifying aircraft of interest approaching U.S. and Canadian airspace," O'Shaughnessy said.
An E-3 AWACS, 2x F-22, 2x CF-18 fighter jets from NORAD positively identified 2x Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers entering the Canadian Air Defense Identification Zone on January 26, 2019. Bombers remained in international airspace and did not enter sovereign territory pic.twitter.com/utKe26SRBB— NORAD & USNORTHCOM (@Norad_Northcom) January 26, 2019