Two Dutch F-16 fighter jets were scrambled on Monday morning because two Russian bombers were spotted in Danish airspace and were nearing the Benelux, the defence ministry has confirmed.
The bombers were intercepted by the Danish airforce and turned back, the defence ministry said on social media.
“The Dutch F-16s remained at the ready to guard the Netherlands’ area of responsibility but have since landed back at the Volkel airbase,” the ministry said. The Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) was sounded at 7.19 am.
“This measure is taken when an aircraft which has not identified itself is nearing Dutch airspace,” a spokesman told Nu.nl. The alert can be issued for both a passenger or military aircraft.
— Koninklijke Luchtmacht (@Kon_Luchtmacht) August 14, 2023
The Netherlands shares responsibility for monitoring Benelux airspace with Belgium as part of Nato requirements and issues a QRA alert a couple of times a year on average. Dutch airspace borders on Denmark over the North Sea.