World War 3 fears: US intercepts six Russian warplanes in furious Alaskan coast standoff

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According to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), launched a F-22 fighter aircraft to intercept three groups of two Tu-142 Russian maritime patrol aircraft which entered the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

The planes were believed to have loitered in the zone for around five hours and crept within 50 nautical miles of the shoreline.

However, the Russian aircrafts stayed in international airspace and did not enter US or Canadian airspace.

NORAD’s commander, Air Force General Glen VanHerck said: “Our northern approaches have had an increase in foreign military activity as our competitors continue to expand their military presence and probe our defences.

“This year, we’ve conducted more than a dozen intercepts, the most in recent years.

“The importance of our continued efforts to project air defence operations in and through the north has never been more apparent.”

Tensions between Washington and Moscow have escalated this week after US defences were alerted to a Russian submarine which surfaced near Alaska.

Northcom wrote on Twitter: “We closely track vessels of interest, including foreign military naval vessels, in our area of responsibility.

“The current Russian maritime activity is taking place in international waters well outside the US territorial sea.

“We have not received any requests for assistance from the Russian Navy or other mariners in the area.”

A senior Pentagon official said the submarine was unusual and could carry a message.

They told Newsweek: “A military submarine’s purpose is to operate undetected against adversary forces.

“To surface in a highly-populated fishing zone is either an indication of an emergency or to strategically broadcast its presence.

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“It is highly unlikely that the Russians would risk detection unless that was their intent.”

On Friday, the US State Department issued a statement condemning the Russian activity and said they would be investigation the “unprofessional interactions” of the Russian military forces.

US officials have warned Russia’s military off the US coasts, especially submarines, poses a national security threat to the US.

Earlier in the week, a group of Alaskan fishing vessels raised alarms to Washington after Russian warships conducted nearby military exercises.

The US confirmed the Russian military were taking part in drills known to American officials and claimed to be tracking nearby activity.

APM report the drills are likely to continue into September.

Back in July, a Russian warship was spotted near the coast of Britain.

The Russian submarine was reportedly conducting a surfaced transit from the Eastern Mediterranean alongside its ocean-going tug Sergey Balk and passed through waters close to the UK.

The Royal Navy was deployed to intercept the submarine.

Lieutenant Justin Shirtcliff, HMS Tyne’s Operations Officer, said: “Tyne responded in a coordinated effort with allies to shadow the Russian submarine and her escort while transiting the English Channel.

“This routine undertaking is an enduring task for the Royal Navy, in which Tyne and her sister ships of the Royal Navy’s Overseas Patrol Squadron play a key role.”

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