Danish & Dutch Air Force intercepts Russian bombers en route to Dutch NATO airspace

F-16s - Source: Danish Defence 

On Monday (14), as two Russian bombers approached NATO airspace over the North Sea, the Netherlands and Denmark swiftly deployed F-16 fighter jets. However, the Russian aircraft were promptly identified and turned back while remaining within international airspace.

Responding to an alert at 7:19 a.m. local time, the Dutch government stated that two Dutch F-16 jets were launched to safeguard the Netherlands' designated area. A government statement highlighted the significance of rapid deployment, noting that such incidents are infrequent but underscore the need for quick action.

The Danish government also engaged its F-16s to establish the identification of the Russian planes. The spokesperson for the Danish Defense Command confirmed that the Russian aircraft remained within international airspace. Meanwhile, the Dutch F-16s maintained an airborne holding pattern, as communicated by a representative from the defense ministry in The Hague.

Airspace monitoring responsibilities in the Benelux region alternate between the Netherlands and Belgium. The Dutch air force oversees this task, which was assumed since mid-April. The Dutch combat command communicates with the Combined Air Operation Center in Uedem, Germany, which serves as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's headquarters for overseeing airspace surveillance in Northeast Europe.

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