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NORAD Intercepts Russian Aircraft Entering Air Defense Identification Zone

F-22 fighters, supported by KC-135 Stratotanker and E-3 AWACS aircraft from the North American Aerospace Defense Command intercepted two Russian IL-38 aircraft entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone on April 8th, 2020.

The Russian aircraft were intercepted in the Bering Sea, north of the Aleutian Islands, and did not enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace. “COVID-19 or not, NORAD continues actively watching for threats and defending the homelands 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.,” said General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, the NORAD Commander. “This is the latest of several occasions in the past month in which we have intercepted Russian aircraft operating near Alaska and the approaches to our nations. We are and will continue executing our no-fail homeland defense missions with the same capability and capacity we always bring to the fight.”

NORAD employs a layered defense network of radars, satellites, and fighter aircraft to identify aircraft and determine the appropriate response. The identification and monitoring of aircraft entering a US or Canadian ADIZ demonstrates how NORAD executes its aerospace warning and aerospace control missions for the United States and Canada.

Operation NOBLE EAGLE is the name given to all air sovereignty and air defense missions in North America. NORAD is a binational command focused on the defense of both the U.S. and Canada, the response to potential aerospace threats does not distinguish between the two nations, and draws on forces from both countries.

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