Airforce intercepts Russian planes over North Sea

7th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Two airforce F-16 fighter jets intercepted two Russian longe-range Bear bombers Tupolev Tu-95MS on Tuesday morning.

The defence ministry said the F-16’s forming the Quick Reaction Alert stationed at the Volkel airbase took off at a quarter past eleven to intercept the Russian planes.The Dutch jets were assisted by German military air controllers. Earlier, the Danish airforce also scrambled fighters to escort the Russians planes.

The two Bears flew down the Norwegian coast and across the North Sea. After being intercepted by the Dutch jets, the two planes turned away toward the west, in the direction of British airspace.

In the past few years, there has been an increasing number of incidents involving Russian planes. Last year saw the first intercept in many years, but Tuesday's intercept was already the third such incident this year.

The airforce permanently keeps two armed F-16s at the ready to intercept unidentified aircraft. The F-16’s can be airborne within minutes after receiving an alert. The Volkel and Leeuwarden airbases take turns in manning the Quick Reaction Alert.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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