Late on Sunday and early Monday, four Russian military aircraft were seen and monitored by NORAD as they flew into the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
According to NORAD, the Russian aircraft never crossed into U.S. or Canadian territory and never left international airspace. For the sake of national security, every aircraft must be immediately identifiable inside the ADIZ, a delineated section of international airspace. To monitor the skies and take the necessary defensive measures, NORAD uses a multi-tiered system of satellites, ground-based and aerial radars, and fighter planes.
In order to protect North America, NORAD will continue to maintain its arsenal of reaction options. This comes after the United States Navy responded strongly to a coordinated naval operation between China and Russia near U.S. territory earlier this month. Alaska Republican Senator Dan Sullivan claimed four warships were sent to divert the Chinese and Russian vessels off American territory.
Russia and China have never before collaborated so closely on a naval task force, and the magnitude and breadth of this operation is unique. Sullivan said that it’s clear from this occurrence that the more aggressive dictatorships in Beijing and Moscow have ushered in a new age of totalitarian aggressiveness.
On July 3, May 15, and April 17, NORAD received reports of Russian aircraft violating Alaska’s airspace. On both May 11 and April 17, NORAD did more than merely see Russian planes, going so far as to conduct a “routine intercept.”
Since 2007, after Russia once again began out-of-area Long Range Aviation activities, NORAD has averaged around six or seven intercepts of Russian military aircraft in the ADIZ every year. When an army aircraft enters an ADIZ, NORAD watches its movements, verifies its identity, and, if required, guides the plane out of the ADIZ.