A pair of Russian supersonic Tu-160 strategic bombers flew over the Barents, Norwegian and North Sea to south of Great Britain on Thursday. Another aircraft stayed circling in the air west of Norway’s air base in Bodø.
Less than a week after a pair of Russian strategic bombers were flying south outside European airspace, two American B-2A bombers were escorted by three Norwegian F-35 fighter jets over Iceland and the North Atlantic.
“We should expect development and testing of new, advanced weapons systems in the areas east of Norway. Several of these will have nuclear propulsion systems,” said Director of the Norwegian Intelligence Service, Lt. Gen. Morten Haga Lunde.
MiG-31K fighter jets armed with the new Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile based at Kola, Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya could in practice pose a threat it is not possible to defend against in the European Arctic, northern Scandinavia and North-Atlantic.
The rebuilt version of the passenger aircraft Tu-204/214 will be Russia’s equivalent to the U.S. built Boeing P-8 Poseidon that Norway, among others, will deploy for surveillance flights over the Barents- and Norwegian Seas.