Russian bombers met by NATO fighter jets over the Barents Sea,

A pair of Tu-160 strategic bombers showed muscles outside Norwegian air space and in the European Arctic on Tuesday. Newly deployed naval aviation fighter jets at Novaya Zemlya escorted the aircraft for part of the route.

The flight, which lasted for 12 hours, took place over Russia and the Barents-, Norwegian- and Greenland Seas, the Defense Ministry in Moscow informs. Russia’s strategic bombers are based at Engels Air Force Base near Saratov in southwestern Russia and have to fly north for exit to international air space without violating other nations borders. […]

Two F-16s on Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) for NATO from Bodø Air Base were scrambled and the Norwegian pilots met the Russian aircraft outside Finnmark.

“Our QRA F-16s were scrambled. They identified the Russian aircraft in international air space up north. This is normal procedures,” said spokesperson for Norway’s Joint Headquarters, Jørn Hammarbeck, in a phone interview.

The Russian strategic bombers’ long-ranged mission came the same day as the Norwegian defense launches exercise Arctic Hawk 21, involving all of the country’s military branches; Navy, Army, Home Guard, Air Force and Cyber Defense. […]

The U.S Air Force is reportedly planning a Bomber Task Force (BTF) deployment, with four Rockwell B-1B Lancers, to the Norwegian base of Ørland later in February. Läs artikel