As the planes were in an area of NATO airspace that is the responsibility of the Dutch and Belgium and The Netherlands pool resources two Belgian F-16 fighter jets were scrambled at the Florennes Air Base (Hainaut) at 11:21 am.
Due to the urgency of the situation, the F-16s were allowed to break the sound barrier above The Netherlands. It is reported that a sonic boom was audible in the North East of The Netherlands.
The Belgian pilots were able to visually identify the Russian planes at 11:51 am. The F-16s followed the Russian aircraft until two British Royal Air Force took over.