NATO fighter jets guarding the Baltic airspace were scrambled eight times last week to identify and accompany Russian planes flying near the Baltic borders.
„F-22 Raptor“ Fighters
© Reuters/Scanpix

On March 16, NATO fighter jets were scrambled once. A Russian IL-20 military reconnaissance aircraft was flying from mainland Russian to Kaliningrad over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea without using its on-board transponder, not according to any pre-filed flight plan but maintaining radio communication, Lithuania's Ministry of National Defence said.

On March 17, NATO Baltic air policing fighter jets were also scrambled once to respond to a group of 11 aircraft flying from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea without a pre-filed flight plan, with switched off on-board transponders, and not maintaining radio communication.

On March 18, NATO fighter jets were scrambled once to identify and escort a Russian AN-26 tactical transport aircraft flying from Kaliningrad to mainland Russia. The flight was conducted in accordance with a pre-filed flight plan. The AN-26 was not using its on-board transponder but maintained radio communication.

On March 19, NATO fighter jets scrambled twice. An IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft and a Su-24 tactical bomber of the Russian Federation were intercepted. Both aircraft were flying over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea from Kaliningrad without pre-filed flight plans, without using on-board transponders, and without maintaining radio communication.

On March 20, NATO fighter jets were scrambled two times: to identify and escort an IL-20 of the Russian Federation heading from Kaliningrad for mainland Russia, and AN-26 and AN-12 transport aircraft that were flying to Kaliningrad from Russia. The aircraft were flying over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea without flight plans filed in advance, without using on-board transponders, and without maintaining radio communication.

On March 21, NATO air policing fighter aircraft conducted were scrambled once to intercept a group of 10 planes: AN-26 transport aircraft, Su-27 and SU-34 fighter jets. The aircraft were flying from Kaliningrad towards mainland Russia over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea. No flight plan had been pre-filed for this flight, the aircraft were not using their on-board transponders and were not maintaining radio communication.

The airspace of the Republic of Lithuania was not infringed in any of these cases.

Russia held large-scale military exercises in Kaliningrad last week.

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