NATO uses fighter jets TEN times in one day to intercept an unusually high number of Russian bombers and fighters over Europe
- Great Britain, Belgium, Italy and Norway were among the countries that scramble hunters
- Six groups of Russian fighter jets were intercepted in the space of six hours, NATO said
- Relations between Russia and the West are getting worse and worse
NATO fighter jets were chased away ten times Monday to intercept an unusually high number of Russian military jets in the skies of Europe and the North Atlantic.
The UK responded with Typhoon fighters, while Belgium, Norway, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey also repelled fighter jets to protect NATO airspace.
Six groups of Russian fighter jets were intercepted in the space of six hours, with NATO warning that the Kremlin-controlled aircraft was flying under the radar and posing a risk to civilian aircraft.
Relations between Russia and the West are at an increasingly low point after London, Brussels and Washington all imposed new sanctions on Moscow.
NATO fighter jets were chased out ten times a day Monday to intercept Russian military planes, including a Tu-95 Bear bomber (file photo), which made unusual movements in the skies of Europe and the North Atlantic.
NATO said the Russian planes contained Tu-95 Bear bombers spotted by radars off the coast of Norway on Monday.
The two planes were intercepted by Norwegian F-16s, but continued to fly south over Belgium and the UK, prompting both countries to start flying fighter jets.
The Norwegian Air Force was later in action again to shadow two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers over international waters.
Further south, Russian planes appeared on NATO radars over the Black Sea, prompting Romania and Bulgaria to launch their own planes.
And Italian fighter jets were also deployed, intercepting a Russian Il-38 maritime patrol aircraft.
The Norwegian Air Force was called in twice on Monday to intercept Russian military planes, to track the flight of a Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber and later two Tu-160 Blackjack bombers (image)
The patrol plane was escorted by fighter jets over the Baltic Sea as it flew in and out of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, NATO said.
According to NATO Brigadier General Andrew Hansen, the various operations were controlled from control centers in Germany and Spain.
He warned Moscow that the operations showed that the alliance was “willing and able to monitor the Allied air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”
NATO said the “unusual level of air activity” poses a potential risk to civilian aircraft, as Russian pilots often fail to identify themselves.
“Russian military aircraft often do not transmit a transponder code indicating their position and altitude, do not submit a flight plan or communicate with air traffic controllers,” NATO said.
It was also confirmed that none of the Russian aircraft has ever entered the skies of a NATO country in Europe.