Fighters of NATO's Baltic air policing mission were scrambled twice last week to identify and escort Russian military aircraft in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian defense ministry reported.
On June 17, NATO jets intercepted an Antonov AN-12 cargo plane en route from Russia's Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad. The aircraft flew according to a pre-filed flight plan and kept radio contract with the regional air traffic control center, but its onboard transponder was switched off.
On June 22, NATO jets intercepted a Tupolev TU-154 as well as two Sukhoi SU-24MR and two SU-30SM flying from Kaliningrad to mainland Russia. The TU-154 had is onboard transponder on, but no flight plan was submitted, and the plane didn't maintain radio communication with the regional air traffic control centre.
The two SU-24MR and SU-30SM had their onboard transponders off, no flight plans had been filed, and they did not maintain radio communication.
Editor: Dario Cavegn