Captain Donatas Suchockis, public relations officer at the Lithuanian Army’s Joint Staff, told BNS that the jets took off at about 6 p.m. following a signal about Russia‘s Il-76 flying in the international air-space above the Baltic Sea.
“The aircraft, which was identified as Il-76, was flying from the Russian Federation to the Kaliningrad region. It was flying without a flight plan, with the automatic transponder and was in contact,” Suchockis told BNS.
NATO fighter-jets performing the air-policing mission from the Amari base in Estonia were also scrambled on Thursday to accompany a Russian transport airplane An-26.
The Amari base currently accommodates Spanish fighter-jets, while the air-policing mission from Lithuania is performed by Italy and Poland. Belgian jets and aviators conduct the mission from Poland.