Two Belgian F-16 fighters jets as well as two British Typhoon planes scrambled to intercept Russian strategic bombers near UK abd Dutch airspace.
Brlgium, which is ensuring this year the airspace of the three Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) said the two F-16 fighters where sent from the Florenne base, while the UK Typhoon planes flew from the Lossiemouth base in Scotland on a “quick reaction alert” as two Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack bombers entered NATO airspace.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said the pair of bombers flew over the Barents, Norwegian, and North seas during a 13-hour training mission that covered neutral waters, in line with international norms.
“All flights by Russian aircraft are performed in strict accordance with international rules for using airspace without infringement on any countries’ borders,” the ministry said in a statement.
Encounters between Russian and NATO warplanes have increased as Moscow has demonstrated its resurgent military might.
Russia also has increased its navy’s presence in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, and other areas.
Last week, the HMS Westminster, a Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate, was ordered to intercept two Russian corvettes and two supporting vessels that neared UK waters en route to their Baltic home base.