NATO jets in Baltics scrambled 8 times last week to intercept 16 Russian aircraft
NATO's fighter-jets patrolling Baltic airspace were scrambled eight times last week to identify and escort Russian military aircraft in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Monday.
A total of 16 aircraft were intercepted during the week.
On May 29, the Alliance's jets intercepted an AN-26 transport aircraft on its way from Kaliningrad to mainland Russia, and a TU-204 passenger plane that flew to the Baltic Sea exclave and returned to mainland Russia later in the same day.
On May 31, a TU-134 passenger aircraft escorted by three SU-30 fighters were intercepted on their way from the exclave to mainland Russia.
On June 1, the Alliance's jets were scrambled five times to intercept a total of nine Russia military aircraft, some of them flying in groups. These included fighter jets, reconnaissance and cargo aircraft.
A SU-30 fighter was intercepted on June 3.
Some of the Russian aircraft kept radio contact with the regional air traffic control center, had flight plans and flew with their onboard transponders on.
The NATO air-policing mission is conducted from Lithuania and Estonia.