NATO fighter jets guarding Baltic airspace were scrambled twice last week to identify and escort Russian military aircraft in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence said on Monday.
On May 24, NATO jets intercepted a An-12 cargo plane en route from mainland Russia to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The aircraft flew according to a prefiled flight plan and maintained radio contact with regional air traffic control, but its onboard transponder was switched off.
On May 26, NATO jets intercepted an Il-76 airlifter aircraft flying from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad. This aircraft had its onboard transponder switched on and likewise maintained radio contact with regional air traffic control, however the aircraft lacked a prefiled flight plan.
The NATO Baltic Air Policing mission is conducted out of Ämari Air Base in Estonia and Šiauliai Air Base in Latvia.
Editor: Aili Vahtla