NATO fighter jets patrolling the the Baltic airspace were scrambled last week to identify and escort Russian military aircraft, the Lithuanian defense ministry said on Monday.
The alliance's jets on intercepted two Russian Su-35 fighters and one Su-24 attack aircraft flying from mainland Russia in international airspace over the Baltic Sea.
The Russian aircraft had their onboard transponders off, kept no radio contact with the regional air traffic control center, and hadn't submitted a flight plan. The Russian jets eventually turned around and headed back towards mainland Russia, the Lithuanian defense ministry said in a press release.
Participants of NATO's air policing mission in the Baltic states currently include Danish fighter jets based at Zokniai air base near Šiauliai in Lithuania as well as Italian fighter jets based at Ämari air base in Estonia's Harju County. Portuguese fighters will arrive at Zokniai and take over there, while French fighters will take over NATO's Baltic air policing mission at Ämari.
Editor: Dario Cavegn