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Belgian fighter jets readied to intercept Russian bombers

Two Belgian F-16 fighter jets were scrambled yesterday morning in order to be ready to intercept two Russian bombers flying over the North Sea.  The Russian aircraft were approaching Dutch airspace.  Belgium is currently responsible for the defence of Benelux airspace.

The Belgian air force planes took to the skies from the base at Florennes (Namur) in order to investigate two Russian Tupolev Tu-142s flying north of the Dutch coast and the Dutch Friesian islands of Terschelling and Ameland.

The two bombers were flying without a transponder, an electronic device that provides a response when it receives a radio frequency interrogation, and were approaching Dutch airspace. Later the Tupolevs set course for the United Kingdom allowing the Belgian F-16s to return to base around noon.

The Royal Air Force too was scrambled to investigate the Russian aircraft.

This is only the second time that Belgian F-16s need to be readied to intercept Russian bombers.  The first incident occurred in January 2018.

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