Russian bombers flew “in the direction of NATO territory”

According to Dutch reports the Danish Air Force intercepted two Russian bombers that were reported to have been moving toward NATO territory.

This morning, two Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft were activated to intercept two Russian bombers that had entered Dutch airspace. This operational scenario was conducted as part of a so-called Quick Reaction Alert (QRA). The Danish forces intercepted the Russian “Bear” bombers and they subsequently changed their flight direction. Meanwhile, Dutch F-16s remained on alert to monitor Dutch airspace. The aircraft have since landed safely back at Volkel airfield.

The QRA was triggered at 7:19 this morning. While such situations are rare, the current incident underscores the importance of rapid deployment, the Dutch Ministry of Defense said. The F-16 fighters are operational around the clock and can ascend within minutes to intercept unidentified aircraft.

The task of airspace surveillance is assumed alternately by the Netherlands and Belgium, each for several months. This includes not only the surveillance of Dutch airspace, but also the airspace of the entire Benelux countries. Since mid-April, this responsibility has again been with the Netherlands.

Image:, 2018 inauguration of Vladimir Putin 53, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (image size modified)

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