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Nov 12 2021

NATO jets intercept Russian nuclear-capable bombers over the Norwegian and North Seas

RAMSTEIN, Germany - On Friday 12 November 2021, fighter aircraft from Belgium, Norway, the UK were scrambled to respond to Russian aircraft near allied airspace.

In the High North, Norwegian F-16s took to the sky after a Norwegian P-3C aircraft identified a group of Russian military aircraft. While most of the group returned to Russia, two Tu-160 Blackjack nuclear-capable bombers continued to fly south over the North Sea.

NATO fighter jets are always on duty, ready to scramble 24/7 in case of suspicious or unannounced flights near the airspace of our Allies. Today's intercepts show the speed at which NATO can react in the air to any eventuality

"We are always vigilant," NATO deputy spokesman Piers Cazalet said. "NATO fighter jets are always on duty, ready to scramble 24/7 in case of suspicious or unannounced flights near the airspace of our Allies. Today's intercepts show the speed at which NATO can react in the air to any eventuality"

As the Russian bombers travelled further, they were intercepted by UK and Belgian air forces. NATO's Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem in Germany coordinated the allied intercepts. The Russian bombers did not contact air traffic control, provide flight plans or transmit transponder codes, posing a potential risk to civilian flights. At no time did the Russian bombers enter allied airspace. All interactions were safe and professional.

Safeguarding the integrity of Alliance members' airspace is a peacetime task contributing to NATO's collective defence.

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On Friday 12 November 2021, fighter aircraft from Belgium, Norway, the UK, and other allied countries were scrambled to respond to Russian aircraft near allied airspace.  Pictured is an IL-72 MIDAS refuelling aircraft. Royal Norwegian Air Force, 333 Squadron
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As the Russian bombers travelled further, they were intercepted by UK and Belgian air forces. Picture by: The Royal Air Force,

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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