The Icelandic Coast Guard (LHG) has announced that two Russian Tupolev Tu-142 anti-submarine bombers flew into NATO airspace, prompting immediate response.
According to the announcement, the bombers neither announced their arrival to air traffic control ahead of time nor had their radar on when they were spotted. They were outside of Icelandic airspace, but within NATO airspace, and as such a response was initiated.
This response came in the form of two fighter jets from Italy, who are currently conducting NATO exercises in Iceland, who flew out to the bombers to identify them. No combat was reported from the encounter, and the bombers soon made their way out of airspace.
If all this sounds familiar, it should.
The Russian military has shown a repeated pattern of buzzing close to or within Icelandic airspace, often without warning or without communicating with Icelandic authorities ahead of time. On one occasion, they also flew close to an Icelandic passenger plane.
Iceland is a NATO country, but having no military of its own, it regular invites military from other NATO countries to conduct exercises here. Russian officials still have yet to provide an explanation as to why these military craft seem to have such a keen interest in Icelandic airspace.
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