17:47 Oct. 5, 2016
Two Russian Blackjack bombers were intercepted by fighter jets from four European countries as they flew from the direction of Norway to northern Spain and back, it has emerged
Norway, the UK, France and Spain all scrambled jets as the TU-160 planes skirted the airspace of each country.
It comes at a time of heightened tension between the West and Russia.
Correspondents say the frequency of Russian bombers being intercepted by Nato planes has increased markedly.
Spanish media say it is the furthest south such an operation has had to take place.
The incident happened on 22 September but the full extent only came to light recently in a statement by the French ministry of defence (in French). It referred to it as an Air Policing [Baltic support] mission by the four countries involved.
It said Norway first detected the two Blackjack bombers to the north and scrambled two F-16 fighters to accompany them towards the north of Scotland.