Saturday, April 20, 2024

German fighter jets scramble to intercept Russian military aircraft

Two German Air Force Eurofighter jets were scrambled from Lielvarde Air Base in Latvia on March 1, mere hours after initiating NATO Air Policing duties, to intercept two Russian military aircraft nearing NATO airspace off the Latvian coast.

Upon detection of non-NATO aircraft in the vicinity of the Latvian coast, the Latvian Control and Reporting Centre promptly relayed the information to the Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem, Germany. Subsequently, the decision was made to mobilize the German Eurofighters stationed at Lielvarde, marking their debut alert scramble from the base.

Once in flight, the German pilots were briefed on their mission and approached the Russian military aircraft operating over the Baltic Sea. Notably, the Russian planes lacked a flight plan, communication with Civilian Air Traffic Control, or transponder identification. After visually confirming the aircraft type, the German pilots escorted the Russian planes before successfully completing their mission and returning to Lielvarde Air Base. The interception proceeded smoothly and professionally.

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Colonel Viesturs Masulis, commander of the Latvian Air Force, emphasized the significance of this event, stating, “This first alert take-off of German Eurofighters from Lielvarde showcases NATO’s ability and commitment to deter and if necessary defend Allied airspace. We are aware and ready 24/7 of potential threats to our territory.” He highlighted the establishment of NATO Air Policing command and control procedures at Lielvarde, along with the rapid and coordinated response of all participants, as a testament to collective cooperation in safeguarding NATO’s borders.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more

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