Russian aircraft operating in Alaska ADIZ detected by NORAD  

U.S. Air Force photo

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said it detected and tracked four Russian military aircraft within the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).  

The event occurred late on the night of August 13, 2023, extending into the early hours of August 14, 2023. NORAD did not specify the model of the tracked aircraft. 

NORAD, a collaborative organization between the United States of America and Canada, is responsible for safeguarding the airspace of both nations. It underscored that the Russian aircraft maintained their operations strictly within international airspace and did not breach the sovereign airspace of either the United States or Canada.  

“This Russian activity in the Alaska ADIZ occurs regularly and is not seen as a threat,” NORAD said in a press release. 

In May 2023, six Russian aircraft including SU-35 fighter jets, IL-78 tankers, and TU-95 bombers, were intercepted in the same ADIZ while Alaska’s largest military drill of the year, Exercise Northern Edge 23, was ongoing. 

An ADIZ is a unilaterally declared region of international airspace that serves as a buffer zone before sovereign airspace. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the swift identification and monitoring of all aircraft entering this designated space. 

To monitor aircraft movements and respond if needed, NORAD utilizes a multi-layered defensive system comprising satellites, ground-based and airborne radars, as well as fighter jets. 

“NORAD remains ready to employ a number of response options in defense of North America,” the command said. 

NORAD commander General Glen VanHerck recently said that the detection network of the command would be reinforced by over-the-horizon radars (OTH) after the Chinese spy balloon incident in late January 2023 raised important concerns about the ability of the United States to detect airborne threats.  

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