NATO fighter jets bolt to intercept ‘rare peak’ of Russian military planes over Europe
NATO called the presence of the Russian bombers and fighters in the three regions an unusually “rare peak.” In a statement, the organisation said: “In all, NATO aircraft intercepted six different groups of Russian military aircraft near Alliance airspace in less than six hours.”
Brigadier General Andrew Hansen, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations in Germany, said: “The men and women at NATO’s two Combined Air Operations Centres in Uedem, Germany, and Torrejón, Spain, quickly responded to unidentified aircraft near the Alliance’s borders by launching fighters from Norway, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey to investigate and protect allied airspace.”
Brigadier Hansen added that NATO’s air policing mission is a “truly collective effort”.
In the North, Russian military aircraft were first spotted on Norwegian radars flying near the nation’s coastline.
In response, Norwegian F-16s were scrambled which intercepted two Tu-95 Bear bombers flying south over the North Sea.
The UK and Belgium sent Typhoon and F-16 fighters respectively to assist the Norwegian fighters.
The statement further added: “Later in the day, the Norwegian F-16s intercepted two Tu-160 Blackjack bombers over international waters.”
In addition to the planes spotted in the north, NATO radars also picked up three more aircraft in airspace over the Black Sea.
The statement said: “Turkish, Romanian and Bulgarian fighter aircraft took to the skies to track the Russian aircraft until they had left the area.