NATO Jets Intercept Russian Warplanes

Other News Materials 21 September 2007 07:45 (UTC +04:00)

( Newsvine ) Russian military aircraft were intercepted by British and Norwegian jets Friday after they breached NATO airspace close to the U.K. and Finland, defense officials said.

Finland's prime minister demanded an explanation from Moscow. Interception of Russian warplanes in NATO patrolled-airspace has become increasingly common since the Kremlin ordered strategic bombers to carry out long-range missions for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

British fighter jets intercepted two Russian long-range bombers flying in NATO airspace and shadowed them until they charged course, Britain's defense ministry said, without revealing precisely where the incursion took place. The two Tu-160 "Blackjack" bombers were initially intercepted by Norwegian F16s, defense officials said.

In Finland, authorities said an Ilyushin-76 transporter plane flew about three miles into Finnish airspace for three minutes.