NATO jets scrambled once last week due to Russian flight
NATO Baltic Air Policing jets engaged in identification and escort flights once last week, in response to a Russian Federation military flight over Baltic Sea international waters.
The NATO planes honed in on an Sukhoi Su-27 fighter (NATO reporting name: "Flanker"), which had been flying to the Kaliningrad exclave from "mainland" Russia.
While the Su-27 maintained radio contact with local air traffic controllers, it had not filed a flight plan in advance, and had no functioning transponder squawking on a recognizable frequency, the Lithuanian defense ministry says.
NATO air policing flights are based in Ämari and in Šiauliai, Lithuania. One common hot-spot is airspace close to Lithuania and Latvia's as Russian military planes "cut the corner" when flying to and from Kaliningrad. Another is the uninhabited Estonian island of Vaindloo, where Russian planes have been known to actually briefly fly within Estonian airspace.
Italian air force jets currently hold the Ämari rotation.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte