Written by Rachel Stoltzfoos
The Air Force scrambled fighter jets to intercept two pairs of long-range Russian bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons off the coast of Alaska and California Saturday.
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At 10:30 a.m. EST July 4, the Air Force scrambled two F-22 jets from Alaska to intercept two Tupolev Tu-95 long-range strategic bombers flying off the coast, reported Fox News. At 11:00 a.m. EST the Air Force scrambled two F-15s from an undisclosed location to intercept a pair of Tu-95 Bear bombers off the coast of California.
The bombers did not enter U.S. airspace at any point, senior defense officials told Fox News, but they did not say how close the bombers were to the coast. A spokesman for NORAD did not confirm whether the bombers were armed.
“These are not unprecedented flights, but we are postured to respond, whether Alaska or California,” NORAD spokesman Michael Kucharek told Fox News.
Similar incidents have occurred in recent summers. When Russian nuclear-capable bombers were intercepted July 4, 2012, a defense official called the move “Putin’s Fourth of July Bear greeting to Obama.”