Russia reports one of its jets escorted German patrol plane over Baltic
A Russian fighter jet escorted a German Air Force plane in Baltic air space, news agencies in the Russian Federation report. Estonian defense spokespersons say the type of plane reported by Russian authorities is not one used by NATO allied air forces in Estonia.
Citing Russia's Ministry of Defense, reports state that the German plane was a Lockheed P-3 Orion turboprop patrol plane, which had not violated Russian air space.
However, Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) General Staff Headquarters told ERR that allied air forces serving in Estonia do not use the P-3 Orion, an anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft – the plane mentioned by the Russian defense ministry statement.
"This means that we can confirm that allied air forces serving in Estonia could not have been involved in the alleged situation," the EDF spokesperson said.
Germany's air force, the Luftwaffe, recently handed over NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission duties to Britain's RAF, following several weeks' joint mission involving both air forces.
The NATO Baltic airspace patrols are based at Ämari Air Base, and see allied air forces contributing on a rotational basis. These planes, together with the equivalent mission at Šiauliai, Lithuania, are regularly scrambled when Russian military aircraft fly close to, and sometimes inside, Baltic air space.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming