A U.S. F-22 fighter jet intercepts a Russian military aircraft in October 2020.

A U.S. F-22 fighter jet intercepts a Russian military aircraft in October 2020. (North American Aerospace Defense Command)

WASHINGTON — Russian military aircraft were spotted near Alaska late Sunday and early Monday morning, U.S. officials said.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said Monday that it detected and tracked four Russian military aircraft near Alaska.

The Russian aircraft remained in international space and did not enter U.S. or Canadian territory. The aircraft did enter the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone, a stretch of mostly international airspace some 200 nautical miles off the Alaskan coast.

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

Monday’s detection was at least the fifth one in 2023. The first incidents happened on consecutive days in February. Military officials at the time said the Russian planes were in no way related to incidents in which U.S. fighter jets shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon or multiple unidentified objects over U.S. and Canadian airspace.

Two more incidents occurred several days in May as large-scale military training exercises took place in and around Alaska.

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Matthew Adams covers the Defense Department at the Pentagon. His past reporting experience includes covering politics for The Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle and The News and Observer. He is based in Washington, D.C.

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