NATO Scrambles Jets as Russian Bombers Fly to Spain

October 5, 2016 Updated: October 5, 2016

NATO was forced to scramble fighter jets to intercept two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers as they flew past Norway, along the west coast of the U.K., then toward northern Spain and back again.

Norway, the U.K., France, and Spain mobilized their jets as the planes got near the airspace of each country, according to the French defense ministry in a recent statement. The bombers flew from the Arctic to the Bay of Biscay in an incident that took place on Sept. 22.

The defense ministry report says that Norway first noticed the two Russian planes north of the country, prompting it to scramble two F-16 fighter jets. The two Russian planes then continued south and they were intercepted by British Typhoon aircraft, French Rafale planes, and Spanish F-18 jets.

The Royal Air Force planes were deployed from RAF Lossiemouth before they met with the bombers as they were flying west of Shetland. Later, they skirted the west coast of Ireland and were intercepted by French planes near Brittany. Spanish F-18 jets were scrambled as the bombers approached Bilbao before they turned around and took the same route back.

The two aircrafts didn’t violate U.K. airspace, the RAF told the Telegraph.

The Tu-160 bombers are suspersonic bombers capable of carrying out nuclear or conventional bombings.

In November 2015, it was reported that Typhoon fighter planes were scrambled from Lossiemouth to intercept two Tu-160s. A similar incident took place in October 2015 to intercept aircraft flying over the North Sea.