Russian planes intercepted by NATO forces over Baltic Sea

British and German warplanes were deployed to intercept two Russian jets and a single spy plane that was approaching NATO’s airspace over the Baltic Sea. The Russian jets were said to be navigating toward Estonian airspace when they were intercepted in a move that is almost certain to raise tensions between the opposing powers.

The Daily Mail noted that Britain and Germany had collectively sent Eurofighter Typhoon jets from Amari Air Base in Estonia to investigate the two Sukhoi Su-27 fighter aircraft that were reportedly escorting an Ilyushin Il-20 Coot-A intelligence plane, according to reports from the Royal Air Force (RAF).

The Evening Standard reported that NATO allies typically pitch in to help secure airspace over Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania because these countries do not have their own fighter jets.

An RAF spokesperson reported that the “RAF and German Air Force Typhoon fighters scrambled together from Amari Air Base in Estonia yesterday against unidentified aircraft over the Baltic Sea close to Estonian airspace.”

“The aircraft, operating as part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP) Mission intercepted a Russian military IL-20 jet that was being escorted by two Sukhoi Su-27 Flankers.”

The Ilyushin Il-20 Coot-A intelligence craft is reportedly used to gather enemy communications and signals for analysis and assessment. The Daily Mail noted that the craft was traveling without transponder signals, so as to evade detection.

However, Russian military aircraft regularly fly from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad and back, suggesting that these encounters are fairly routine in the area. The recent intercept is reportedly the sixth time British and German aircraft have come into contact with Russian planes hovering near NATO territories in just the past two months.

The Norwegian Air Force mentioned on Tuesday that there was a group of Russian aircraft traversing international airspace over the Barents Sea, just north of the Scandinavian country. The aircraft in question were two Tu-160 Blackjack bombers, two Il-78 Midas aerial refueling tankers, and three MiG-31 Foxhound fighter jets.

Last month, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark signed a collective agreement to use their air forces against Russia, which strengthens northern airspace against Moscow as the conflict in Ukraine approaches its 14th consecutive month.

Image: Title: russian jets


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