NATO's fighter jets policing the Baltic airspace were scrambled four times last week to identify and escort Russian military aircraft flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Monday.
Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft were intercepted on August 24 and 27 while flying in international airspace to the Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad without pre-filed flight plans and with their onboard transponders off. The first plane kept radio contact with the regional air traffic control center, but the second one did not.
The other two alert scrambles were conducted on August 28. The first was to intercept two Tupolev Tu-142 reconnaissance aircraft and two Sukhoi Su-27 fighters, and the second was to intercept an Il-20 plane.
The NATO Baltic air policing mission is carried out from air bases in Lithuania and Estonia.
Editor: Helen Wright