Russian maritime reconnaissance aircraft are really interested in an ongoing U.S. submarine exercise near Alaska known as ICEX — the spy planes have been intercepted three times this week by U.S. and Canadian aircraft, according to the U.S. military.
On Saturday, North American Aerospace Defense Command said F-22s, KC-135 Stratotankers and E-3 Sentry aircraft intercepted two pairs of Russian Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft near Alaska.
NORAD said the Russian aircraft came within 45 nautical miles of Alaskan coast over the Beaufort Sea but never entered U.S. or Canadian sovereign airspace.
The Russian recon planes entered the west and north of Alaska with the western pair of spy planes flying within the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone for four hours. The recon planes loitered around the ICEX submarine exercise followed by F-22s.
On March 9, a pair of Russian recon aircraft were intercepted by NORAD while spying on the ICEX sub exercises. Those aircraft came within 50 nautical miles of the Alaskan coast.
O’Shaughnessy told lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday the Russian aircraft loitered about 2,500 feet above a camp that was built for the submarine exercise known as Camp Seadragon. He said the Russian aircraft “loitered” with an F-22 and and F-18 on their wing.
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