NATO fighter jets stationed in Lithuania as part of the Baltic air policing missions week scrambled twice last week to identify and escort Russian military aircraft flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Monday.
On December 17, NATO jets intercepted a Russian Antonov An-26 transporter flying over the Baltic Sea from the Kaliningrad region to mainland Russia, and on Wednesday, another Antonov An-26 was intercepted in the international airspace over the Baltic Sea, flying from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad.
In both cases, the Russian aircraft were flying according to a pre-filed flight plan and kept radio contact with the regional traffic control center but were not using their onboard transponders.
The NATO Baltic air policing mission is carried out from air bases in Lithuania and Estonia.
Editor: Helen Wright