U.S. fighters intercept Russian bombers for second day in a row

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By David K. Li  with NBC News U.S. News
Two pairs of F-22 fighter jets from NORAD positively identified and interce
Two pairs of F-22 fighter jets, each with an E-3 Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft, from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) positively identified and intercepted Russian Tu-95 bombers and Su-35 fighter jets entering the   -  Copyright  NORAD

For a second consecutive day, U.S. fighter jets intercepted Russian warplanes flying too close to American airspace near Alaska, military officials said Wednesday.

This latest incident happened on Tuesday, as two pairs of F-22 fighters and an AWACS surveillance craft were sent to keep an eye on two Tu-95 bombers and a pair of Su-35 fighter jets,according to a statement by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The Russian aircraft remained in international skies and at no time entered U.S. or Canadian sovereign airspace, according to NORAD. But the Russian crafts were inside a buffer zone known as the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone, officials said.

It was the second day in a row U.S. fighters have had to be dispatched to monitor Russian activities near Alaska, officials said.

"This is the fourth and fifth intercepts this year and the second day in a row that Russian bombers have flown into the Alaskan ADIZ," according to NORAD.

Russia's Ministry of Defense acknowledged Monday's incident, saying its planes were in the region on scheduled training exercises, but have not responded to Tuesday's activity.

NORAD averages about six to seven Russian intercepts a year, the joint Russian-Canadian defense operation said.