Two Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 fighter jets have intercepted two Russian long-range Bear bombers, also known as Tupolev Tu-95MS, across the North Sea, according to the Dutch Defence Ministry.

After being intercepted, the Russian bombers turned toward the west in the direction of UK airspace.

The Defence Ministry said, “The quick reaction alert of the UK Royal Air Force took over the escort [once the Russians left Dutch airspace].”

Intercepting incidents involving Russian planes have increased in the past few years with the latest that took place in late January and early March this year.

Two armed F-16s from the Dutch Air Force are always on permanent standby to intercept unidentified aircraft.

The Volkel and Leeuwarden airbases take charge of the quick reaction alert unit.