UK jets ‘chase Russian bombers’
(BBC) The UK’s Royal Air Force has launched fighter jets to intercept eight Russian military planes flying in airspace patrolled by Nato, UK officials say.
Four RAF F3 Tornado aircraft were scrambled in response to the Russian action, the UK’s defence ministry said.
The Russian planes – said to be long-range bombers – had earlier been followed by Norwegian F16 jets.
Russia recently revived a Cold War-era practice of flying bombers on long-range patrols.
A Norwegian officer, Lt Col John Inge Oegland, told the BBC the Russian Tupolev Tu-95 Bear bombers flew in international airspace from the Barents Sea to the Atlantic, before turning back.
Two Norwegian F-16s shadowed them on Thursday morning and another two went up later, he said.
There have been several similar incidents in recent months, Lt-Col Oegland added.
“Norway is following the increased Russian activity in the far north with interest,” he told the BBC News website.
He said the Russian flights were not causing alarm in Norway. “Our systems are adequate,” he said, when asked whether Norway was bolstering its security in the area.
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