British fighters intercepted two Russian warplanes north of the Scottish Shetland Islands on Monday. British Secretary of State for the Armed Forces James Hebe said: “The pilots took off their Typhoon aircraft this morning to intercept and monitor two Russian long-range bombers as they flew north of the Shetland Islands.” The incident took place “within NATO’s northern air control area”.
On the other hand, the Russian Defense Ministry said on the same day that its air force had intercepted a Norwegian reconnaissance plane. Boeing P-8A “Poseidon” approached the Russian border in the skies over the Barents Sea.
It added that a MiG-29 fighter jet had been deployed to prevent “violations of the borders of the Russian Federation.” “As the Russian fighter plane approached, foreign military aircraft did their part,” the ministry said in Moscow.
The objection was made in accordance with international rules. The tracks of the machines did not cross, and there were no dangerous convergences. In aviation, interception is understood as escorting an aircraft approaching or violating the airspace of a foreign country without permission.
“It is true that a Russian aircraft has identified a Norwegian P-8 in international airspace over the Barents Sea,” Lieutenant Colonel Rydar Vlasnes of the Norwegian Armed Forces confirmed to the NTP news agency. Aircraft identification is a “routine process”.
In recent years, even before the Ukrainian conflict, accidents between aircraft from NATO countries such as Norway and pilots from Russia have increased: most of them occurred over the Baltic Sea, but there were also accidents over the Black Sea and other waters.
In a separate statement on Monday, the Russian military said several of its strategic bombers and fighter jets are making “scheduled flights” over international waters in the Baltic, Barents and Norwegian seas, as well as near eastern Russia in eastern Siberia. It was the Beaufort Sea and the Chukchi Sea.
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