MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. NATO planes scrambled to escort Russian planes, who participated in the Ocean Shield 2020 drills, over neutral waters of the Baltic Sea, the Arctic and the Pacific Oceans, Russian Ministry of Defense’s National Defense Control Center reported Friday.
According to the Center, planes of Northern, Pacific and Baltic fleets, as well as planes of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ Long-Range aviation, were involved in the incident.
A total of eight Tu-142 anti-submarine planes, four Il-38 anti-submarine planes, two Su-24M bombers, two Tu-95MS strategic bombers and one Il-78 flying tanker took part in the flights.
"Russian planes were escorted by NATO countries’ planes at certain parts of the flights," the Center noted.
Russian planes were in flight for over 12 hours, flying over 10,000 kilometers. The Center underscored that the flights took place in strict accordance with the international air law.
"During the flights, the pilots practiced piloting over area with no landmarks, and coordination of crew actions in absence of ground-based air navigation systems," the Center noted.
Meanwhile, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) reported that the Russian planes "remained in international airspace and at no time entered United States or Canadian sovereign airspace." According to the report at the NORAD website, the planes "loitered within the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone for approximately five hours and came within 50 nautical miles of Alaskan shore.".