NATO fighter jets patrolling Baltic airspace responded to Russian Federation aircraft three times during the week commencing 15 October, according to the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence.
The aircraft identified and escorted Russian military planes in international airspace over the Baltic Sea.
The NATO jets intercepted two Su-27 fighters flying to and from the Russian-controlled Kaliningrad exclave on Monday 15 October, plus a Tu-134 passenger aircraft with three Su-30 fighters travelling to Kaliningrad from 'mainland' Russia.
Transponders off, no flight plans or communications
Only the passenger plane had its onboard transponder switched on and had pre-filed a flight plan, albeit late, and maintained radio communications with the regional air traffic control centres; the Russian fighters reportedly had not.
NATO's air policing mission in the Baltic countries currently include Belgian airforce (Luchtcomponent /Composante air), US-made F-16 Fighting Falcons based at the Zokniai air base near Šiauliai in Lithuania, and German airforce (Luftwaffe) Eurofighter Typhoon jets based at the Ämari air base in Estonia.
Editor: Andrew Whyte