A video has apparently captured a Russian fighter plane nearly hitting a NATO F-16 fighter jet over Norway.
The footage, according to Norway’s The Local, was captured this week and was later released to the public.
Norway’s military said a Norwegian NATO jet had a “near miss” with a Russian fighter jet north of Norway. The country also sent a complaint to the Kremlin about the incident.
“The Russian pilot’s behaviour was not quite normal,” Norwegian armed forces spokesman Brynjar Stordal was quoted by the AFP news agency.
The footage showed a Russian fighter plane cutting in front of the F-16 suddenly. In the clip, the Norwegian pilot also shouts, “What the hell!”
Norway identified the Russian plane as a MiG-31. It came within 65 feet of its fighter jet.
“We don’t know if it was a miscalculation or if he deliberately put himself in the path of our F-16,” added Stordal.
Norway, which is a member of NATO, has not reported any Russian airspace incursions in recent years.
“We could have had a collision between the aircraft,” Stordal told the Wall Street Journal. “The pilot has a spontaneous reaction in the video, and both his comment and the evasive maneuver indicate that this is unwanted … We don’t know if this was a mistake by the Russian pilot, or a sign of a more aggressive behavior by the Russians.”
In October, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO has reported about 400 interepts of Russian military planes so far in 2014–a 50 percent increase compared with the previous year.
“I don’t think there’s a special need for worry, but we are of course monitoring the activity,” Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Søreide told the paper.
NATO jets intercepted two Russian fighter planes over the Baltic Sea in mid-November, it was reported at the time.
Several NATO Eurofighter Typhoons intercepted two Russian Su-27 planes, said Latvia’s army. The incident took place over neutral waters near Latvia’s territorial seas.