ETV's “Pealtnägija” reported that this year alone, Russian military aircraft have flown with turned off transponders 266 times near Estonian borders. Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand said Russia is yet to explain its actions.
Each of the 266 incidents have caused NATO fighter jets to scramble from Ämari to intercept and identify the aircraft with switched off transponders.
Kaljurand said this is a very serious problem and Estonia has repeatedly demanded answers from Russia.
“Every meeting I have had with the Russian ambassador we have talked about aircraft with switched off transponders being dangerous, they are a threat to all air traffic over the Baltic Sea,” she said. Having their transponders switched off turnes the aircraft invisible to most radars used by civil air traffic control.
Kaljurand said the ambassador always replies that he will inform Moscow. “He is yet to give a thorough, rational, logical answer,” she added.
Editor: J.M. Laats