NATO and Defense of NATO Air Space: Intercepts Ramp Up During COVID-19



NATO aircraft have been busy over the past two days intercepting Russian aircraft flying close to NATO airspace.

On 28 April Polish fighters were scrambled under NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission from Estonia to identify two Russian Tu-160 long range bombers, escorted by several fighters and supported by an Airborne Early Warning aircraft. The formation was later intercepted again by fighters of the Royal Danish Air Force.

On the same day a Russian Airborne Early Warning aircraft as well as two Russian Tu-22 long range bombers with fighter escorts approached NATO airspace off the coast of Norway and were intercepted by Norwegian fighter jets.

On 29 April Norwegian fighters were scrambled twice more against two Russian Maritime Patrol aircraft, approaching NATO airspace close to Norway. After the first intercept by Norwegian F-16 aircraft, the Royal Air Force launched their Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon fighter aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth to meet and escort the Russian planes as they tracked south towards the North Sea. They operated around the North Sea and turned north where Norwegian F-35 fighters met them and escorted them out of NATO’s area of interest. 

All intercepts were conducted in a professional manner, demonstrating that NATO fighters across the Alliance remain ready and poised to protect Allied skies 24/7.

April 30, 2020