NATO jets scrambled twice over Russian military aircraft last week

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A Sukhoi Su-27SM3 of the Russian Air Force, similar to those identified and escorted by NATO jets last week. Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin/Wikimedia Commons

NATO fighter jets policing the Baltic airspace were scrambled twice last week to identify and escort Russian military aircraft flying in the international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

Last Monday, a Russian Antonov An-12 strategic transport plane flying from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad was identified. The Russian aircraft had no pre-filed flight plan, its onboard transponders were switched off, but it kept radio contact with the regional air traffic control center.

Also on Monday, a Russian An-30 cartography aircraft flying from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad was identified. 

On the same day, NATO air policing aircraft intercepted a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 and two Su-35 fighter jets, which had taken off in mainland Russia and returned to mainland Russia. In addition, two Su-24MR fighter jets flying from Russia to the Kaliningrad region and two Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets flying out of the Kaliningard region and returning there were identified.

None of the Russian aircraft had pre-filed flight plans, had their onboard transponders on or kept radio contact with the regional traffic control center.

On Friday, NATO air policing jets identified a Russian A-50 reconnaissance aircraft, which was flying from mainland Russia to the Kaliningrad region. The plane had no pre-filed flight plan, its onboard transponders were switched off, but it kept radio contact with the regional air traffic control center.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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