“So far this week, Northern Fleet aircrews have made three flights to the Arctic region,” Northern Fleet spokesman Captain First Rank Vadim Serga said on Thursday.
Two flights were made by an Il-38 maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft and one by a Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, he said, according to RIA Novosti.
Russia will now be patrolling the Arctic on a regular basis. The aircraft take off from fleet airbases in the Murmansk and Vologda regions and fly over international waters above the Arctic Ocean and along the Northern Sea Route.
The Navy patrol aircraft monitor the pack-ice near the Northern Sea Route to assist navigation for civilian ships in Arctic regions, Serga said and added that the flights are conducted according to international regulations and without breaking the borders of other nations.
Russia is increasing its presence in the airspace in the High North. In 2012 Norwegian fighter jets were scrambled 41 times and identified a total of 71 Russian airplanes. This is the highest number of identifications of Russian military aircraft since 2007, BarentsObserver reported.