The Alliance’s jets on Feb. 8 intercepted an An-26 transport plane flying from the Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad to mainland Russia according to a pre-filed flight plan. The aircraft maintained radio communication with the regional air traffic control center, but its onboard transponder was switched off.
The jets on the same day escorted a group of five aircraft, including a Tu-134 passenger plane and four fighter-jets. The Russian aircraft, which were on their way from Kaliningrad to mainland Russia, had no flight plan and only the Tu-134 had its onboard transponder on and maintained radio communication with the air traffic controllers.
NATO’s Baltic air-policing mission is conducted from Lithuania and Estonia.