Friday, May 29, 2015

NORAD Jets Practising Interceptions in Arctic

Canadian Air Force jet escorting a Russian bomber
U.S Army File Photo: An RCAF CF-18 escorts a Russian Tu-95 Bear Bomber out of Canadian airspace (Undated Photo)

As part of Exercise  AMALGAM DART taking place in the Arctic region between Canada and the United States, NORAD Jets will be practising intercepting foreign aircraft in the Northern regions of North America.

This training is a response to the increased Russian presence in the Arctic region - at its highest levels since the Cold War.

According to U.S. reports, Russian aircraft approached North American airspace 17 times in 2014. That includes Russian bombers, tankers, and fighter jets. Its not just the number of flights, but where they are flying.

The increase in numbers in 2014 is attributed to the West's strong stance on the Russian aggression in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Similar increases are being seen in Northern Europe, including Russian bombers flying through the English Channel late last year.

More than 300 personnel, and 15 NORAD aircraft are participating in Exercise AMALGAM DART, in Alaska, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.