Canadian and U.S. jets intercepted Russian planes over Arctic: Norad

DECEMBER 5, 2011. Tupolev Tu-95MC (NATO reporting name: Bear), a large, four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber, flying over the Engels Air Force Base in Russia's Saratov Region. Photo ITAR-TASS/ Dmitry Rogulin

Canadian and American fighter jets were scrambled to intercept Russian war planes over the Arctic in two separate incidents this week.

Norad, the North American Aerospace Defence Command, says the Russian planes did not violate Canadian or U.S. airspace in either case.

Norad spokesman Lt. Col. Michael Jazdyk says the first incident occurred Wednesday night west of Alaska when American fighter jets intercepted six Russian aircraft, including fighter jets and bombers.

He says in the early hours of Thursday morning two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers over the Beaufort sea.

It’s not uncommon for Russian planes to fly in the area and Norad routinely sends fighters up to investigate.

Jazdyk says Canadian or American fighters have intercepted some 50 Russian planes over the last five years.