Tuesday, October 26, 2021

NATO scrambles jets 15 times to track Russian military planes over the Baltic

NATO scrambled fighter jets, which deployed at Lithuania’s Zokniai airbase on a rotary basis, 15 times in June to track and intercept Russian military aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea, according to a Lithuanian Ministry of Defense.

NATO and Partner nations scrambled fighters to meet increased Russian air activity across the Baltic Sea. Spanish Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon fighters met the Russian aircraft to ensure the safety and security of the Baltic Sea Airspace. Partners Sweden and Finland also joined.

According to the Lithuanian Ministry, Spanish Typhoons carried out the most sorties — eight — between June 14 and 20.

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According to the Defense Ministry spokesman, two Russian military planes presumably violated the Lithuanian airspace over the Baltic Sea. The planes allegedly stayed in the Lithuanian airspace for about one minute, the spokesman said.

Since the Baltic States have no own air force, their airspace is controlled by NATO allies. Since 2004, NATO member states’ planes are being deployed at the Zokniai airbase on a rotary basis. Currently, the airbase is occupied by the Spanish Air Force, who succeeded the Italian Air Force. Since 2014, another part of the NATO mission has been deployed at the Amari Air Base in Estonia.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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