On Monday, the Royal Air Force has reported that Typhoon fighter jets currently deployed in Lithuania have intercepted a Russian IL-20 (NATO code name COOT A) Ilyushin Il-20M radar reconnaissance and electronic intelligence aircraft operating over the Baltic Sea.
The Ilyushin Il-20M is an upgraded electronic signals intelligence aircraft based on a 1950s-era turboprop-powered plane. Spy plane carries a wide array of antennas, optical and infrared sensors, and side-looking radar, as well as satellite communication equipment.
The IL-20 was monitored, as it flew through the Lithuanian Flight Information Region in international airspace, to ensure the safety of other airspace users as Russian Military aircraft do not file flight plans in accordance with standard international practice.
According to Royal Air Force, this is a routine reaction for 135 Expeditionary Air Wing and the 6 Squadron Typhoons, who are operating from Siauliai Air Base alongside the Spanish Air Force to conduct the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission.
This sortie is the latest demonstration of the enduring allied partnerships across the NATO missions for the safety and integrity of the Baltic airspace and also shows the UK’s commitment to the security of the region.