“We had three flights,” Captain Donatas Suchockis, public relations officer at the Lithuanian army‘s Joint Staff, told BNS on Thursday.
At 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, NATO fighter jets took off to identify and accompany Russian Il-76 and An-26 planes flying in the international airspace to the Russian region of Kaliningrad. Both planes were flying according to pre-filled plans and maintained radio communication. The An-26 was flying with its onboard transponder switched off, however.
At around 11:20 a.m., NATO jets were scrambled to identify an An-26 flying from Kaliningrad to mainland Russia. The plane was flying with its transponder switched off but had a pre-filled plan and maintained radio communication.
At 8 p.m., jets took off to identify two An-26s flying to Kaliningrad. Both aircraft were flying without maintaining radio communication and with their transponders switched off and one of the planes was flying without a pre-filled plan.
The Latvian army twitted on Wednesday that besides the mentioned planes, NATO Baltic air policing mission jets were also scrambled to identify and accompany four MiG-31 and four Su-34 fighter jets.
NATO’s Baltic air policing mission is being carried out by Norway and Italy in Lithuania, Belgium in Poland and the UK in Estonia.