BRUSSELS — NATO warplanes intercepted a “significant” force of six Russian nuclear-capable bombers over the Baltic Sea, the alliance said in the latest such encounter amid tensions with Moscow over Ukraine.
Four Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers and two Tu-22M Backfire long-range bombers were intercepted in international airspace by Portuguese F-16 fighter jets assigned to NATO, spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said.
Lungescu said that while most intercepts carried out over the Baltic are “routine,” the intercept of the six bombers “represented a significant level of activity by Russia.”
In two other incidents later on Sunday, NATO warplanes intercepted a total of seven Russian military aircraft, including Tu-134s used for training and moving passengers as well as An-72 transport aircraft, Lungescu said.
NATO has reported a surge in such intercepts since the crisis in Ukraine erupted earlier this year, at levels not seen since the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the West.
Full article: NATO Intercepts Russian Bombers Over Baltic Sea (Defense News)