Norwegian and British fighters scrambled... to intercept eight Russian bombers that neared the Nordic country's territory in the latest show of air power by the Kremlin.... The Tu-95 strategic bombers rounded Norway's northern tip over the Barents Sea and flew south over the North Atlantic before turning back, Norwegian defense officials said. The Russian planes... stayed inside international air space during the maneuvers.
Lt. Col. John Inge Oeglaend, of the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, explained that two Norwegian F-16s were sent up both times that the Russian aircraft approached Norwegian territory. He said it was the third time since mid-July that Norwegian fighters have scrambled to counter Russian maneuvers. NATO spokesman James Appathurai said Norway and Britain launched quick-reaction interceptor and airborne-warning planes and tankers "as part of routine NATO procedure."