NATO fighter jets protecting the Baltic airspace were scrambled five times last week to intercept military aircraft of the Russian Federation, flying near the Baltic states’ borders, Lithuania's Ministry of National Defence said on Monday.
© DELFI (M.Bajarūno nuotr.)

On May 26, NATO jets were scrambled to intercept an An-26 military cargo aircraft of the Russian Federation, flying above the Baltic Sea. It was heading for theKaliningrad region from mainland Russia, according to a pre-filed flight plan, used its onboard transponder, and maintained radio communication with air traffic control centre.

On May 27, NATO jets were scrambled twice. The first scramble was triggered off by two Su-24 attack aircraft flying without a pre-filed flight plan, without using their onboard transponders, and without maintaining radio communication to and from the Kaliningrad region.

The second scramble was conducted to intercept an An-27 of the Russian Federation flying above the Baltic Sea from the Kaliningrad region to mainland Russia. No flight plan had been pre-filed for the An-27 flight, its onboard transponder was switched on and the crew maintained radio communication with air traffic control centre.

On May 28, fighter jets of the NATO Baltic air policing mission were scrambled once to identify two Su-27 (possibly Su-24) aircraft of the Russian Federation, flying near the Kaliningrad region above neutral international waters of the Baltic Sea without a pre-filed flight plan, not using on-board transponders, not maintaining radio communication with air traffic control centre.

On May 30, NATO fighters were scrambled once to intercept an An-26 military transport aircraft heading for mainland Russia from the Kaliningrad region over the Baltic Sea according to a pre-filed flight plan, using its onboard transponder and maintaining radio communication with air traffic control centre, and also a Su-27 which was flying near the Kaliningrad region without having pre-filed a flight plan, without using its onboard transponder and did not maintain radio communication with air traffic control centre.

Norwegian and Italian contingents are in charge of the Baltic air policing mission in Lithuania, with British and Belgian contingents also stationed in Estonia and Poland respectively.

BNS
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