NATO fighter jets scramble multiple times to escort Russian planes over the Baltic Sea (2)
NATO planes, securing the airspace as part of the Baltic Air Patrol, had to sortie several times on Sunday, as Russian military aircraft, including strategic bombers, flew in international airspace over the Baltic Sea.
During the first incident, the NATO aircraft determined that four Russian Tu-95 and two Tu-22 strategic bombers were conducting an unscheduled flight over the Baltic Sea, Latvian Defense Forces announced on their Twitter account.
The second incident occurred a few hours later when three Tu-134 airliners and an accompanying An-72 transport aircraft did not observe standards for pre-notifying countries of their flight plan.
The third and final incident involved another two Tu-134s and an An-72.
Estonian Defense Forces reported on Saturday that the Baltic Sea airspace was littered with a large number of different Russian aircraft, all seemingly flying to the Kaliningrad oblast between Lithuania and Poland.
Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian airspace have been protected by rotating NATO forces ever since the three Baltic states joined NATO in March 2004. In 2012, NATO extended the airspace security mission for an indefinite period.
NATO planes are based at Ämari air base in Estonia and the Šiauliai air base in Lithuania.