Bears Play Double Dutch With NATO Fighters

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Two Russian Tu-95 Bear H bombers were intercepted by British, Danish and Dutch fighters this afternoon.

Dutch Ministry of Defense archive photo

The Bears were first intercepted and escorted by a couple of Royal Danish Air Force F-16s until they entered the Dutch area of responsibility and two Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-16s took over. After leaving the Dutch area of responsibility, the Bear couple was escorted by British Royal Air Force Eurofighters.

The Russian bombers then returned to the Dutch area of responsibility and were again escorted by the RNLAF F-16s. The Bears left the Dutch area of responsibility and the RAF Eurofighters escorted them one last time.

Discuss this Blog Entry 4

on Aug 22, 2014

How did they get to Denmark & Netherlands? Which way did they leave? What's the Russian's party line on this one?

on Aug 25, 2014

The Bears entered the Dutch area of responsibility from its northernmost part and departed northwards, according to the Dutch Ministry of Defense. The Dutch news agency ANP cited an RNLAF spokesman as not knowing where the bombers came from or their destination.

on Aug 22, 2014

Probably a dumb question, but isn't it fair game to warn them to turn right around as soon as they enter a foreign country's airspace, then shoot them down if they don't comply immediately? Isn't that what the Russians do when their airspace is violated (without the warning part)?

Otherwise, they're just seeing how far they can get in preparation for an actual strike when time is most critical. The West has grown timid. Not necessarily weak, but timid.

on Aug 25, 2014

Sorry, it should have been area of responsibliity, not airspace. A Dutch journalist told me that Russian Bears have never entered Dutch airspace and were escorted by NATO aircraft in international airspace. Correction made.

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