NORAD, Russia Practice Intercepting Hijacked Airliners

Vigilant EagleU.S. and Russian forces began a joint exercise Monday over the Bering Sea despite the raised tensions with U.S. naval forces moving into position to potentially fire cruise missiles into Syria.

The exercise will simulate the response to a hijacked airliner. It’s the third iteration of the exercise named Vigilant Eagle run Aug. 26-30 by North American Aerospace Defense Command and the Russian Federation Air Force.

Vigilant Eagle will include two flights: one in which Russian fighters fly into U.S. airspace and one in which U.S. fighters fly into Russian airspace over the Bering Sea. The first flight will originate in Alaska flying into Russia. The second flight will originate in Russia and fly into Alaska.

The exercise scenario will include a commercial air carrier that is supposedly hijacked by terrorists. Fighters from the respective nations will then intercept the commercial jet before handing it off to the other nation’s fighter team once it enters the other’s airspace.

“These exercises continue to foster the improved cooperation between the RFAF and NORAD in their ability to respond quickly to threats of air terrorism,” NORAD officials said in a statement.

Of course, this is all happening with the backdrop of worsening relations between the U.S. and Russia. Russia has tried to protect President Bashar al-Assad even after reports he used chemical weapons in the ongoing Syrian civil war. Also, Edward Snowden, the former U.S. defense contractor who leaked secrets about the NSA, has sought asylum in Russia.

Still don’t be too alarmed if you find yourself in Alaska and see fighter jets escorting a commercial jet liner this week — even if the airliner is being escorted by Russian jets.

14 Comments on "NORAD, Russia Practice Intercepting Hijacked Airliners"

  1. Nice to see MiG-29s and F-22s fly together.

  2. Blow those commies up to hell.

  3. Only difference is Russians were'nt able to detect the F22's.

  4. Great opperunity for russians to scan f22 radar profiles.

  5. Great opportunity for russians to scan f22 radar profiles. :S

  6. Are we sure we will be using f-22 i would assign f-15s keep the raptors safe and at elmondorf

  7. There were plans to design a stealthy missile but the program either died or went top secret. Pity. (Have Dash)

    Do you even need a F-22 to intercept hijacked airliners? Hah!

  8. If you are interested to stop this problem at the bearded lunatic on a motorcycle stage then I know where they hang out. So does everyone. Pakistan. Northern mostly.

  9. Where are the modified F117s with Steven Segal in them?

  10. Hello NORAD? Commander Spike Granite here. I intercepted the airliner. Easy as pie. Now what?

  11. Seriously! How the hell did this make the news on defense tech and Boeing's Advanced Super Hornet flying with conformal fuel tanks and an enclosed weapon pod did not? Defense tech needs to get on the ball…

  12. Russia?….Very interesting.

  13. I find it interesting that they mention the tensions with Snowden and Assad. Now more than ever is just cause to hold exactly such drills. Both countries military personnel have 1 goal in mind (at least among the true soldiers): protect our citizens for they are our families and friends. It would be horrible if innocents were harmed (yet again) due to the ineptitude of politicians and their effects on our militaries.

  14. USS ENTERPRISE | August 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Reply

    Hate to be the pilot in either MiG or Raptor. Think about it. Getting the order to shoot down a passenger plane? God, nerve racking…..

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