US, Canadian planes scramble to intercept Russian Tu-160 bombers

U.S. Air Force and Canadian fighter jets were scrambled to investigate suspected Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers entering the Canadian Air Defense Identification Zone on January 26.

According to the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the United States Northern Command, an E-3 Sentry AWACS , two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors and two Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 Hornet fighter jets from NORAD positively identified a two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers entering the Canadian Air Defense Identification Zone on January 26.

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.

Russian bombers remained in international airspace and did not enter sovereign territory.

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