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Portuguese F-16s intercept Russian bombers near NATO airspace

F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets of the Portuguese Air Force intercepted Russian military aircraft, including Tupolev Tu-95MS Bear bomber during an Air Policing mission.

The Portuguese Air Force regularly participates in NATO Air Policing missions to safeguard the airspace of other Allies and released some new footage of intercept of Russian Bear near NATO airspace.

Official footage was released on Monday showing a Russian Tu-95MS Bear bomber, which was seen through the sensors of a Portuguese F-16 during an Air Policing mission.


Photo courtesy of the Portuguese Air Force.

Currently, Portuguese F-16s are deployed to Siauliai Air Base, Lithuania for Baltic Air Policing. Other contributions include Baltics Air Policing deployments in 2007, 2014, 2016, and 2018, as well as, in Iceland in 2012 and again in 2022. This enduring commitment to enforce the Alliance deterrence and defense posture, has also included several detachments in Romania (2015 and 2017) and Poland (2019 and 2020), as part of the Assurance Measures framework.

“The Portuguese Air Force will always remain committed towards safeguarding the allied airspace,” said Major Emídio Fernandes, Commander of the Portuguese Air Force Detachment at Siauliai.

The effectiveness of this mission relies on highly trained airmen, doctrinal and procedural knowledge, advanced sensors and airborne systems, as well as a networked, robust, resilient and interoperable Command and Control structure.

As it approaches its 70th Anniversary in 2022, the Portuguese Air Force will continue to actively contribute to keep our populations safe and defending NATO airspace.

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