NORAD visually identifies 2 Russian bombers near Northwest Territories
North American Aerospace Defense Command launched fighter aircraft Feb. 18 and visually identified two Russian TU-95 Bear bomber aircraft approximately 190 kilometers northeast of Tuktoyuktuk, Northwest Territories. This response included two CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft from 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada as well as two F-15 Eagle aircraft from the Alaskan NORAD Region. The Russian aircraft remained in international airspace at all times and never entered sovereign Canadian or American airspace.
All aircraft involved in the visual identification returned to base without incident.
This was a professional response by Canadian and American NORAD pilots and operators. It highlights the close, working relationship Canada and the United States have maintained through NORAD for over 50 years.
NORAD will respond to any unidentified aircraft approaching North American airspace. Russian flights, just like any other, will be visually identified in accordance with standard procedures. NORAD carefully monitors all air activities in the North and considers all options to ensure fulfillment of our air sovereignty responsibility to Canada and the United States.
NORAD uses an identification process that is well established and proven to be very effective. If an aircraft approaches North America, NORAD will detect the object by radar. NORAD will attempt to identify the object through a variety of mechanisms including correlation with flight plans, communication and transponder interrogation. If these methods fail, NORAD may launch aircraft to visually identify the unknown object and assess its intentions.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is a bi-national United States and Canadian organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America. Aerospace warning includes the monitoring of man-made objects in space, and the detection, validation, and warning of attack against North America whether by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles, through mutual support arrangements with other commands. Aerospace control includes ensuring air sovereignty and air defense of the airspace of Canada and the United States. The May 2006 NORAD Agreement renewal added a maritime warning mission, which entails a shared awareness and understanding of the activities conducted in U.S. and Canadian maritime approaches, maritime areas and inland waterways.
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A full transcript of the NORAD commander's comments can be found on his blog at www.noradnorthcom.blogspot.com. Brief updates can be found at www.twitter.com @noradnorthcom.twitter.com. Links to worldwide coverage can be found at the NORAD and USNORTHCOM's corporate Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Peterson-Air-Force-Base-CO/NORAD-and-USNORTHERN-Command/49769178351?ref=ts