MOSCOW, September 9. /TASS/. Two MiG-29 fighter jets of the Russian Aerospace Force have been scrambled on Wednesday to intercept the Falcon 20 and P-3S Orion aircraft of the Royal Norwegian Air Force over the Barents Sea, the Russian National Defense Control Center told reporters.
According to the Russian military, Russian radars detected two targets in international airspace over the neutral waters of the Barents Sea.
"Two MiG-31 fighter jets were scrambled to identify and intercept the targets in midair so as to prevent their unauthorized incursion into the Russian sovereign airspace," the center said. "The Russian jets’ crews identified the air targets as a radio-technical reconnaissance and electronic warfare aircraft Falcon-20 and a P-3S Orion maritime surveillance aircraft of the Royal Norwegian Air Force."
The center added that no violation of the Russian state border had been recorded.
The National Defense Control Center pointed out that the Russian fighters shadowed the foreign aircraft over the Barents Sea and returned to their home airfield after those had turned away from the Russian airspace.
On September 5, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that intensity of the use of NATO surveillance aircraft close to Russian borders had increased by more than 30% in comparison to last year, from 87 missions in August 2019 to about 120 in 2020. The minister said that on August 23 through September 2, the Russian Aerospace Force scrambled their jets at least ten times to intercept spy planes over the Baltic, Barents and Black Seas.