A Pair of Russian Training Flights Over Neutral Seas Lift up Half of NATO

US F-15s and F-16s, Belgian F-16s, Swedish Grippens and Finnish F-18s all scrambled to intercept Russian Tu-22 bombers on two practice flights

Fri, Sep 22, 2017
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TASS reports Russia's long-range Tu-22M3 bombers performed routine training missions over waters of the Baltic and Norwegian seas. 

This led to jets from four separate air forces taking into the air and accompanying the Russian planes. The flight over the Baltic composed of a single pair of Russian bombers was "intercepted" by F-16 fighter planes of Belgium, F-18s of the Finnish Air Force, F-15s of the US Air Force, and JAS-39 of the Swedish Air Force.

The second flight over the northern Norwegian sea was escorted by US air force F-16s.

The Russians stress the Tu-22 flights were carried out in according to international rules for the use of airspace and without violating the borders of other states. They also say their long-range aviation pilots regularly fly over neutral waters of the Atlantic, Arctic, Black Sea and the Pacific.

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