NATO jets in Lithuania scrambled 5 times last week to intercept Russian planes

DELFI / Orestas Gurevičius

On April 26, the NATO jets were scrambled from Šiauliai Airbase to identify and escort a Su-27 military aircraft of the Russian Federation that had taken off from the Russian Kaliningrad region.

The aircraft was flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea without a pre-filed flight plan, without using the onboard transponder, and without maintaining communication with air traffic control centres.

On April 27, the NATO jets took off from Šiauliai Airbase to intercept a Russian military aircraft en route from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. The NATO fighter jets identified an Il-38 of the Russian Federation flying according to a pre-filed plan, maintaining communication with air traffic control centres, but with onboard transponder switched off.

On April 28, NATO air-policing fighter aircraft were scrambled from Šiauliai twice to intercept military aircraft of the Russian Federation in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. NATO fighters identified and escorted a Russian IL-18 flying from Kaliningrad without a pre-filed flight plan, not using its onboard transponder, and not maintaining communication with air traffic control centres. Later, NATO aircraft were scrambled once again to intercept an IL-38 of the Russian Federation. The aircraft was flying towards the mainland Russian Federation from Kaliningrad without a flight plan and without using its onboard transponder but maintained radio communication with air traffic control centres.

On April 29, NATO air-policing fighter aircraft were scrambled to identify and escort a military aircraft of the Russian Federation flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea away from Kaliningrad towards mainland Russia. NATO fighters identified an IL-20 of the Russian Federation that maintained radio communication with air traffic control centres and was flying in accordance with a pre-filed flight but had its onboard transponder switched off.

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

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