Ramstein, Germany - Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35s scrambled from Evenes airbase in Northern Norway to identify Russian aircraft operating in the High North, February 2.
This 24/7/365 days Air Policing mission is very important for NATO and the Norwegian Air Force are well prepared and ready to support
The Norwegian Control and Reporting Center at Sørreisa ordered the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) scramble after multiple Russian aircraft were detected flying out of the Kola Peninsula. The F-35s launched over the Finnmark coast, where they identified and shadowed a Russian A-50 Mainstay aircraft before returning to Evenes. The Russian group of aircraft divided up, some returning to Russian airspace while others continued south into the North Atlantic.
Russian A-50 Mainstay aircraft flying along side the North coast of Norway. Photo courtesy: Royal Norwegian Air Force
Russian long-range bomber Tu-95 Bear H flying in the North Atlantic. Archive photo Crown Copyright
Royal Air Force Typhoons were later scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in response to the incident and intercepted and shadowed two Russian Tu-95 Bear H, which are long-range bombers, and two maritime patrol Tu-142 Bear F. The Typhoons were supported by a RAF Voyager tanker based out of RAF Brize Norton.
"Today's Identifications, demonstrate that the F-35 works in its new role as the QRA out of Evenes. This 24/7/365 days Air Policing mission is very important for NATO and the Norwegian Air Force are well prepared and ready to support," said Major General Rolf Folland, Air Chief Royal Norwegian Air Force.