(CNN)NATO scrambled fighter jets 10 times Monday to track and intercept an unusually “rare peak” of Russian bombers and fighters flying over the North Sea, Black Sea and Baltic Sea, according to a NATO official.
“NATO aircraft intercepted six different groups of Russian military aircraft near alliance airspace in less than six hours,” the organization said in a statement.
The Russian activity across an unusually wide area of European skies came on the same day North American Aerospace Defense Command said it tracked Russian aircraft off the coast of Alaska.
None of the Russian aircraft entered the national airspace of NATO nations in Europe and the intercepts were considered safe, but an alliance statement detailed the activity.
Norwegian F-16s scrambled after radars detected two groups of Russian military aircraft near Norway’s coastline. The Norwegians intercepted two Tu-95 Bear bombers which flew south over the North Sea. That prompted the United Kingdom to send up Typhoon aircraft and Belgium to deploy F-16 fighters. The Norwegian F-16s later intercepted two Tu-160 bombers over international waters nearby.
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