NATO fighter jets conducting the NATO air policing mission in the Baltic states carried out three alert scrambles last week to identify and escort military aircraft of the Russian Federation in the international airspace over the Baltic Sea, Lithuania's Ministry of National Defense reported on Monday.
On Sept. 3, NATO air policing fighter jets intercepted two Sukhoi SU-30 aircraft flying from the mainland of the Russian Federation to Kaliningrad. Neither had their onboard transponder on, nor flight plans, nor kept radio contact with the regional air traffic control center.
On Sept. 5, fighter jets were scrambled to intercept an aircraft maneuvering in the Lithuanian Flight Information Region (FIR) of the international airspace after flowing in from Kaliningrad. The onboard transponder of the aircraft was off, it did not have a flight plan, and did not maintain radio communication with the regional air traffic control center. The aircraft eventually left the Lithuanian FIR and returned to Kaliningrad before it could be identified.
On Sept. 6, NATO jets intercepted an Antonov An-30 flying from Kaliningrad to mainland Russia with its onboard transponder on, according to a pre-filed flight plan, and maintaining radio communication with the regional air traffic control center.
The NATO air policing mission is conducted from air bases in Siauliai, Lithuania and Amari, Estonia.
Editor: Helen Wright