Defense Department spokesman Commander Bill Urban said two Russian TU-142 Bear aircraft approached the USS Ronald Reagan on October 27 at an altitude of some 150 meters, Censor.NET reports citing Radio Liberty.
The carrier, which was sailing in international waters, launched four F-18 fighter jets to meet the Russian reconnaissance and antisubmarine planes and escort them away from the vicinity of the carrier, Urban said.
The action was "standard operating procedure," he added.
An unidentified U.S. Navy official said the pilots from both sides behaved professionally.
The TU-142 is a maritime reconnaissance and antisubmarine aircraft.
Intercepts of Russian aircraft by NATO member states have increased amid heightened tensions over Russia's involvement in the Ukraine conflict and its annexation of Crimea.