British & Norwegian F-35s scrambled in North to intercept Russian military plane

A file photo of the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (C) off the coast of Norway in 2022. British and Norwegian F-35s were deployed this week to escort a Russian military plane that approached the HMS Queen Elizabeth near northern Norway where she is participating in exercises with NATO allies. (Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB/AFP via Getty Images)

A group of British and Norwegian F-35s were scrambled to escort the Russian military plane that flew in vicinity of HMS Queen Elizabeth off the coast of northern Norway this week.

The Russian plane, which came from the Kola Peninsula, flew in proximity to the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the UK Carrier Strike Group informed on Twitter (X) Friday.

F-35Bs were launched from the deck of the carrier and flew alongside the Russian aircraft together with Norwegian F-35As.

The British carrier group has for the last two weeks exercised with Norway and several other NATO countries off the coast of northern Norway, among them Germany, Belgium, France, the United States, plus the two newcomers Finland and (soon) Sweden.

The Norwegian frigate Otto Sverdrup has led the carrier group while operating in Norwegian waters.

Exact positions not disclosed

For security reasons, neither the Norwegians nor the UK Navy are willing to disclose positions, but on Thursday the HMS Queen Elizabeth posted photos on Twitter (X) showing crew members undertaking the so-called Blue Nose Ceremony, an adventure mariners arrange when crossing the Arctic Circle.

On October 4, other photos were posted showing the steep mountainsides along the coast of Northern Norway.

The 280-meter-long carrier Queen Elizabeth brings helicopters and a fleet of F-35 fighter jets. She has a crew of approximately 700, increasing to the full complement of 1,600 when all aircraft are embarked.

Further north, into the Barents Sea, Russia has issued military NOTAM warnings for a larger airspace in the maritime border areas with Norway from Saturday, October 7 until the 12th.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: U.S. report claims Trudeau told NATO Canada will never meet military spending target, CBC News

Finland: With northern focus, Finland applies EU funding to improve military mobility, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Norwegians fear radiation as Russia prolongs test-window for Burevestnik missiles, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia tested nuclear-powered missile & could revoke atomic test ban, Putin says, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden wants to rebuild its “total defence” system, Radio Sweden

United States: Moscow fires cruise missiles in sea drills between Russia and Alaska, Reuters

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

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

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