Russia Scrambles MiG-31 to Intercept U.S. Bombers

Update (1308 EST): The Barents Observer obtained this statement from Norwegian Armed Forces spokesperson Reidar Flasnes:

“The activity included both Norwegian and international airspace…We cannot detail the activity.”He adds that the flights are “approved by Norway’s Ministry of Defense.” The flight of B-1Bs was supported by tankers from London.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, a single MiG-31 was scrambled to intercept two U.S. B1-B bombers over the Barents Sea. The anmoucent reads below:

”On March 24, Russian airspace control equipment over the Barents Sea detected a group air target approaching the State border of the Russian Federation.

To identify an air target and prevent violation of the State Border of the Russian Federation, a MiG-31 fighter from the air defense forces on duty was scrambled into the air.

The Russian fighter crew identified the aerial target as a pair of US Air Force B-1B strategic bombers.

As the Russian fighter approached, the American strategic bombers adjusted their flight course, moving away and then turning around from the State Border of the Russian Federation.

The Russian plane returned safely to its home airfield; there was no violation of the State Border of the Russian Federation.

The flight of the Russian fighter was carried out in strict accordance with international rules for the use of airspace over neutral waters and in compliance with safety measures.“

Russian state-owned media has already reported on the incident. The United States has not made a comment as of this publication.