Alaska-based stealth fighters have made their second intercept this year of Russian bombers near the state, as defense officials emphasize that the aircraft never entered U.S. airspace.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, issued a statement Thursday on Saturday’s intercept south of the Aleutian Islands. The propeller-driven Tu-95 “Bear” bombers were intercepted in Alaska’s Air Defense Identification Zone by F-22 Raptor jets, which are based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.

“We do not identify the specific distance the aircraft flew from the west coast of Alaska due to operational security reasons,” NORAD officials wrote. “(T)he two Russian TU-95 bomber aircraft were intercepted and monitored by the F-22s until the bombers left the ADIZ along the Aleutian Island chain heading west.”

U.S. defense officials told the Washington Free Beacon that the bombers were accompanied by one or more refueling tankers, which indicated a long-range flight. Russian forces have been conducting defense exercises since last month that are currently taking place in the Russian Far East.

Alaska-based Raptors flew a similar mission to intercept a pair of Tu-95s north of the Aleutians in May.

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