Friday, December 28, 2007

Norwegian F-16 sprays Russian Tupolev

Norwegian fighter planes took off yet again to identify Russian air crafts violating Norwegian airspace.

The Russian Tupolev 95- Bear has been a frequent visitor along the Norwegian coast this fall. On December 24th, - Two Norwegian F-16s tracked two Tu-95s over the Barents Sea along the borders of Norwegian air space continuing towards Shetland.

A strange incident occurred on the second lift-off Monday the 24th, when an F16 from the 332 Bodø based squadron dumped 500 kilos of pink dye while intercepting the Tu-95s. Norwegian Military officials deny that this was an aggressive response. "The crew of the Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bombers on the planned flight over the neutral water area of the Barents sea and Arctic oceans, reported that they witnessed F-16 interceptors of the Norwegian air forces approaching them", Interfax news agency quoted Alexander Drobyshevsky as saying. The Russian pilots claim that the dye could have caused major engine failure, and that only luck prevented the oily dye from being sucked into the air intakes, according to a statement made through Interfax. The dye is normally used for rehearsal purposes, and is non-toxic, non-flammable and bio-degradable, according to sources. The Norwegian F16 pilot; who has been grounded until further investigations have been carried out, has not been available for comments.

Forsvarsnett (Royal Norwegian Air force)

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