Norwegian Fighters Intercept Russian Aircraft

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Norwegian 4th and 5th Generation Fighters Intercept Russian Aircraft

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office with information provided by the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

RAMSTEIN, Germany - F-16s and F-35s of the Royal Norwegian Air Force intercepted a large group of Russian bombers and fighters off the north coast of Norway, October 27. 

The Russian group consisted of two BlackJack strategic bombers, MiG-31 Foxhounds and SU-24 Fencers fighters and a A-50 Mainstay reconnaissance aircraft. The Russian aircraft did not file flight plans nor did they make contact with civilian air traffic control or send transponder signals, posing a potential risk to other air users. 

The Norwegian Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) at Bodø with F-16 and Evenes with F-35 reacted to the Russian activity. A Norwegian P-3 Orion was already in the area during routine missions, and helped identify the Russian Mainstay. Allied aircrews conducted a visual identification of the Russian aircraft in accordance with international law and in a safe manner.

The introduction of F-35s into the NATO Air Policing system is a step change for Alliance capabilities

"The F-35s stationed at Evenes are preparing for the takeover the northern QRA mission next year, live intercepts like these in the Finnmark area are just the training the crews need," said Lieutenant Colonel Stine B. Gaasland, Communication Chief of Royal Norwegian Air Force.  "The introduction of F-35s into the NATO Air Policing system is a step change for Alliance capabilities."

The two F-35s stationed at Evenes are currently part of an exercise, designed to prepare the 5th Generation fighters to take over the QRA responsibility from the F-16. The handover of the QRA responsibility is planned for January 2022. This was the first live intercept for Norwegian F-35s near their own airspace.

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