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NATO jets in Baltics scrambled 7 times last week to intercept Russian aircraft
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    Topics - Defence Matters ENG - News

    NATO jets in Baltics scrambled 7 times last week to intercept Russian aircraft

    VILNIUS, Feb 11, BNS - NATO's fighter-jets patrolling Baltic airspace were scrambled seven times last week to identify and escort Russian military aircraft in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

    Three of the scrambles were to intercept military aircraft, including an An-26 transport plane, an Il-22 bomber and two Su-35 fighters, flying from the Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad to mainland Russia on Thursday.  

    None of the fighters used onboard transponders, maintained radio communication with the regional air traffic control center or had pre-filed flight plans. The other two planes kept radio contact and had flight plans, but the An-26 did not use its onboard transponder. 

    On Wednesday, the Alliance's fighters took off twice to intercept a Su-24m attack jet flying with its onboard transponder off, without maintaining radio communication and without a pre-field flight plan, and an Il-22 bomber on its way to Kaliningrad. The bomber, which kept radio contact and had a flight plan but did not use its onboard transponder, was being escorted by two Su-35 fighters.  

    NATO's jets were scrambled once on Tuesday to intercept an An-26 transport plane that had its onboard transponder off, but maintained radio communication with the traffic controllers and had a flight plan. 

    The fighters also took off once on Friday to intercept an Il-78 transport plane flying to Kaliningrad with its onboard transponder on, maintaining radio communication and according to a pre-filed flight plan.

    The NATO air-policing mission is conducted from Lithuania and Estonia.

    By Ramunas Jakubauskas

    Vilnius newsroom,, +370 5 205 85 31


    • Published: 11.02.2019 15:44
    • LETA, BNS
    • © The given news may not be republished in any way or amount, or otherwise used by the mass media or Internet websites, without written permission of LETA. If this provision is not observed, the matter will be taken to court pursuant to the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia.