Norway scrambles F-16 as Russian aircraft train over Kola Peninsula and Barents Sea

A Norwegian F-16 fighter jet takes off from Bodø Air Base in Northern Norway, in 2011. (Marthe Brendefur/Scanpix/RNoAF/Reuters)
Russian MiG-31 interceptors and Su-24 bombers are training aerobatics and aerial reconnaissance in the skies of Northwestern Russia.

The training takes place over land in some areas of the Kola Peninsula as well as in the skies over the training ranges in the Barents Sea, the press service of Russia’s Northern Fleet informs.

Norwegian jet IDs Russian planes

On Monday, a Norwegian F-16 fighter jet broke the sound barrier in the Porsanger area in Finnmark en route towards the Barents Sea, the regional newspaper iFinnmark reports.

Press spokesperson with the Norwegian Joint Head Quarters, Major Elisabeth Eikeland, confirms to the Barents Observer that the F-16 was up north on identification mission for NATO’s Quick Reaction Alert (QRA).

“QRA had a flight to Northern Norway yesterday and identified three Russian planes in international airspace; one Fencer and two Foxhound,” Eikeland says.

Fencer and Foxhound are NATO classification of Sukhoi Su-24 and MiG-31.

F-16 fighter jets at Bodø Air Base are routinely scrambled to identify Russian planes near Norwegian air space in the north.

The current training with interceptors and bombers in the Russian north is aimed to develop a uniformed methodology for the flight crew of the regiment, as well as checking the readiness of the engineering staff, ground service and specialists to ensure the flight tasks, according to the brief by the Northern Fleet.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada extends air defence monitoring zone to entire Canadian Arctic, Radio Canada International

Finland: Trump hasn’t made the world safer, say overwhelming number of Finns in poll, YLE News

Norway: NATO launches annual anti-submarine drill off Norwegian coast, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia’s Northern Fleet launches surprise, large-scale exercise in Barents Sea, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden issues first brochure on war and crisis preparedness since Cold War, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. leads anti-submarine drill in Norwegian Sea, The Independent Barents Observer

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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