Commonwealth Denies Its Aircraft Violated U.S. Air Space
MOSCOW (AP) _ Two Russian bombers intercepted off western Alaska by American jet fighters last week were on a routine flight, the ITAR-Tass news agency said today.
The agency said the Tu-95 bombers, known in the West as Bears, ″were on a regular flight over neutral waters″ when they were intercepted by U.S. F-15s on Friday.
Capt. Monica Aloisio, a spokeswoman for the 11th Air Force at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, said Friday that the bombers did not enter U.S. air space.
ITAR-Tass said the Russian planes were shadowed for 21 minutes. ″No signals recognized by international regulations were given by the U.S. fliers,″ ITAR-Tass said, quoting military officials of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Such intercepts have become less common with the collapse of communism. Cmdr. Chuck Connor, a spokesman at the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., said intercepts near Alaska fell to 21 last year from 46 in 1988.