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Norway clocks doubled Russian flybys

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Norway clocks doubled Russian flybys
Norwegian Defence Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen. File photo: Berit Roald
17:26 CEST+02:00
The Norwegian Defence has identified more than double as many Russian planes in the six months, with Norwegian fighter jets taking off at least 15 times to check out the flybys.

The Avisa Nordland newspaper reported on Friday that Norway's air force had sent up fifteen planes for what is called scrambles. 

But although the number of Russian planes detected is near double the number of flybys registered in the autumn and winter of 2012, the number is static compared to the same period last year. 

"This is a lower number than the first half of 2012, but a higher number than the last half of 2012," defence headquarters spokesman  John Espen Lien told the paper. 

During 2012, the Norwegian air force identified 71 Russian planes in total, and responded in 41 one of those cases. During the Cold War, in comparison, Norway could clock up as many as 500 to 600 Russian flybys a year. The number dwindled around the turn of the century, and has remained fairly constant since then. 

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