MOSCOW, June 27. /TASS/. Seven Russian long-range antisubmarine Tu-142 aircraft made scheduled flights in international airspace over the Barents and Norwegian Seas as well as over the northern Pacific Ocean and were shadowed by F-22 fighter jets of the US Air Force and F-16 fighter jets of Norway’s Air Force at certain stages of their route, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Saturday.
"On June 27, 2020, three long-range antisubmarine Tu-142 aircraft made a scheduled flight over the Barents and Norwegian Seas," the Defense Ministry said.
The ministry added that "the planes were escorted by F-16 fighter jets of Norway’s Air Force" at certain periods of their flight in international airspace over the Norwegian Sea.
"Four more long-range antisubmarine Tu-142 aircraft trained missions over neutral waters of the northern part of the Pacific Ocean. US Air Force’s F-22 fighter jets escorted [the Russian aircraft] at certain stages of the route," the Defense Ministry said.
"They were supported by MiG-31 fighter interceptors in the close zone. The flights continued for around 11 hours," ministry specified.
The Russian Defense Ministry emphasized that the flights were done in strict compliance with international airspace rules, without penetrating into other states’ airspace.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said on Saturday that they had intercepted four Russian Tu-142 reconnaissance aircraft in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
NORAD said that the Tu-142s "came within 65 nautical miles south of the Alaskan Aleutian island chain and loitered in the ADIZ for nearly eight hours."
"The Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and at no time entered United States or Canadian sovereign airspace," they stressed.
NORAD pointed out that their forces had identified and intercepted Russian military aircraft, including bombers, fighters, and maritime patrol aircraft, on ten separate occasions since the beginning of 2020.