The F-35 fighter jets launched after detection of Russian planes as part of Norway´s "Quick Reaction Alert" on behalf of NATO. This means that Norway has two F-35s on standby at all times.
Marius Vågenes Villanger, at the Norwegian Armed Forces' operational headquarters, confirms to Harstad Tidende that F-35 aircrafts have been deployed from Evenes's Quick Reactions Alert base around 10.00 a.m. Wednesday.
He says that the QRA at the Evenes base in North Norway was contacted for an observation and identification mission. The F-35s identified one Russian maritime patrol aircraft over international waters.
"This is routine and nothing sensational, the press officer at the Norwegian Armed Forces' operational headquarters, Villanger, told VG at 3pm on Wednesday.
Norway solves the QRA on behalf of NATO. The assignment means that Norway has two F-35s on standby 24/7, according to Forsvaret.no. If an unknown aircraft approaches Norwegian and NATO airspace, the F-35s move out from Evenes and are in the air within 15 minutes.
The Norwegian Air Force's control and warning center then directs the combat aircraft against the unknown aircraft. The Norwegian fighter planes must observe the planes and identify what kind of plane they are and where they come from.