Bear Bombers Violated Dutch Airspace, Were Escorted Out
Word is emerging that on Wednesday 2 March, 2 Dutch F-16s
intercepted 2 Russian T-95 Bear bombers. The Russians had
penetrated Dutch airspace without making their identities
Dutch F-16 Fighters
The air combat control division of the Nieuw Milligen Air
Operations Control Station directed the F-16s of Leeuwarden Air
Base towards the Bears for visual identification and to escort them
through the Dutch area of responsibility. The F-16s intercepted the
Russians at the edge of the airspace that the Netherlands is
responsible for within NATO.
The fighter jets then tailed the Bears until the latter flew out
of the Dutch area of responsibility into British airspace. The
Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) of the Royal Air Force took over from
there. Prior to their interception by the RNLAF, the Russians had
been monitored by Danish fighters.
For the defence of the airspace over the Netherlands, F-16s are
on standby for the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) task 24 hours-a-day,
7 days-a-week. These F-16s are capable of intercepting an
unidentified aircraft in Dutch airspace within a few minutes after
it has been detected. Orders for intercepting an aircraft are
issued by NATO and sent to the Nieuw Milligen Air Operations
Control Station. This military air traffic control and air combat
control centre alerts the F-16s on permanent standby and "talks"
them to their objective.