The American jets briefly flew alongside the Russian bombers before the bombers changed course and flew away from the U.S.
Illustrative photo of an American F-15 intercepting a Russian Tu-95 Bear Bomber during a Russian exercise near the west coast of Alaska in 2008.
A pair of Russian bombers were intercepted by two US stealth fighter jets in worldwide airspace off Alaska's coast.
There was no bridge-to-bridge communication between the United States and Russian aircraft, but three USA officials said the Russians acted "very professionally".
U.S. military officials downplayed the mid-air interaction as "nothing out of the ordinary" and "not dissimilar from what we've seen in the past with respect to Russian long-range aviation".
Monday's intercept is the latest of several recent encounters involving the Russian military. According to the senior-level official, the US Air Force sent three fighter jets that were flying near the bombers, but the Russians turned around to fly back to their country. In fact, at the Regional Air Operations Command center on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson where unidentified craft are monitored, dozens of red stars line the walls for each mission intercepting the foreign bombers. The Viktor Leonov, a Russian spy ship, has been spotted twice since February hovering just outside USA jurisdiction off the east coast, first near CT, then near Florida.