Russian Military Planes Buzz Icelandic Airspace - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Russian Military Planes Buzz Icelandic Airspace

Published April 25, 2012

Despite requests from the Icelandic government that they be notified ahead of time, Russian military aircraft have again flown through Icelandic airpsace without warning.
RÚV reports that Russian fighter jets flew through Icelandic airspace last week; the second time this year. While the Icelandic government has asked Russia to notify them ahead of time if they plan on coming through Icelandic airspace, the maneuvers took place without warning.
Russia had avoided Icelandic airspace for decades, but in 2006 – the same year the NATO base in Iceland closed – the Russian government decided to hold military aircraft exercises in Icelandic airspace again. Russian military aircraft buzzing Icelandic airspace has been a fairly frequent occurrence since then, with exercises conducted on average about once a month.
The most common Russian military aircraft to come into Icelandic airspace are Tupolev bombers, shown above. While Russian authorities seldom notify the Icelandic government ahead of time of their impending arrival, they contend they have every right to use Icelandic airspace. Nonetheless, it is not unusual for these aircraft to be escorted out of the area, if military aircraft from a NATO country happen to be present in Iceland at the time.

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