Norwegian fighter jets identified 83 Russian aircraft distributed over 38 alarm calls in 2019. This is a significant decline from the year before, writes ABC News.
It is Norwegian fighter aircraft, which are part of NATO’s emergency preparedness (QRA), that make these calls. The alarms are called scrambles – an emergency response at short notice.
The planes are stationed in Bodø.
“It is only F16 that has so far been used to solve the QRA missions,” said spokesman Ivar Moen at the Norwegian Defense Forces operational headquarters to NTB.
During 2018, there were 57 scrambles and 100 identifications. Moen explains the decline in the figure, since 2018 was particularly high due to the NATO exercise Trident Juncture, which led to increased Russian activity. If you ignore the exercise, the two years are comparable, says Moen to ABC News.
He adds that the frequency has varied for a long time. From 2007 up to 2014 there was a clear increase, but there has been significantly less activity since then. Moen says it “is believed to be a consequence of material and activity challenges in other parts of the world”.
This is a significantly lower figure than in the mid-1980s. Then 500 to 600 identifications were made annually.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today