NATO jets scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft over Baltic Sea

A NATO pilot escorting a Russian military plane over Baltic airspace.
A NATO pilot escorting a Russian military plane over Baltic airspace. Source: NATO

NATO fighter jets bases in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland tracked and intercepted Russian fighters, bombers and surveillance aircraft over the Baltic Sea on Tuesday (April 20).

Two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers, an Su-27 and Su-35 fighter aircraft flew over the Baltic Sea from mainland Russia, where they operated with a Russian A-50 Mainstay airborne warning and control plane that was also escorted by fighters.

The bombers stayed in international airspace above the Baltic Sea and returned to mainland Russia after roughly three hours.

Some of the aircraft were not identifiable by transponder signal and no flight plan had been filed.

This poses a flight safety hazard because civilian Air Traffic Control may not be able to track them and de-conflict with civilian air traffic, a statement from NATO said.

The Royal Danish Air Force national air operations centre also deployed their F-16s from Skrydstrup Air Base to meet the Russian aircraft. 


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Editor: Helen Wright

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