Top NATO General says recent Russian air incursions in Europe include more planes, more provocative flight paths than previous ones. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) NATO's top military commander said on Monday that recent incursions into European air space by Russian fighters and long-range bombers included larger, more complex formations of aircraft flying more "provocative" routes than they usually do. "What is significant is that across history, most of these incursions have been very small groups of airplanes, sometimes singletons or at most two aircraft," U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, told a Pentagon briefing. "What you saw this past week was a larger, more complex formation of aircraft carrying out a little deeper, and I would say a little bit more provocative, flight path." NATO said eight Russian aircraft comprised of four TU-95 strategic bombers and four II-78 tanker aircraft, identified by Norwegian F-16 aircraft, were intercepted over the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean last week, the Wall Street Journal reported. NATO said these flights pose a potential risk to civilian flights as the Russian planes often do not file flight plans or turn off their transponders, leaving civilian air-traffic control unable to detect them, the Wall Street Journal reported.