Increased Russian aircraft activity leads to more frequent flights Norwegian fighters
Never before have Norwegian fighters been sent so often to identify Russian aircraft as this year. 54 times, Norwegian F-16 aircraft have moved out to investigate.
So far in 2018, 79 Russian aircraft have been identified in a total of 54 flights reported IFinnmark news.
That is far more than the previous record from 2014 when 48 such flights were scrambled throughout the year.
Particularly last month, dozens of planes were identified, and Lieutenant Colonel Ivar Moen of the Armed Forces ties it to the NATO Trident Juncture exercise which was completed last week.
“We had expected increased interest and flights from the Russian side because of the NATO exercise. Although there is a certain increase in the number of scrambles and identifications, we consider it normal” said Moen.
Moen said the Russian planes that have been identified are all older aircraft that the Armed Forces have good knowledge of from before.
“We have identified both maritime aircraft, strategic bombers, and fighter aircraft this year,” he said.
The number of planes identified does not give an overview of the total activity, which may be much greater. Many planes are so far away that the Armed Forces do not move out.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today