Norwegian F-35s intercepted Russian bombers and fighters as they approached NATO airspace, according to the alliance’s air command.
NATO Air Command reported yesterday that state-of-the-art aircraft raced to meet two Russian Tu-160 bombers, two MiG-31 jets and two Il-78 tankers flying close to allied airspace .
In an update on NATO.
“The fifth generation fighters identified two Tu-160 bombers, two MiG-31s and two Il-78 Midas. The Russian planes returned to Russia shortly after encountering the F-35s.”
The alarming encounter comes amid growing tensions between NATO and Moscow and is one of several incidents where the adversaries have clashed.
While it is likely that Russian planes are testing NATO’s response time and not carrying out an attack, these incidents increase the likelihood of an error on either side that could escalate, potentially into conflict.
Since NATO intervened to support Ukraine following Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, relations with Russia have reached a level not seen since the Cold War.
NATO allies have promised to continue supporting kyiv through the winter and, beyond that, an easing of tensions between Russia and the West appears unlikely.