Two Russia’s Il-22PP electronic warfare aircraft were intercepted and escorted by NATO fighter jets during a flight over neutral waters over the Baltic Sea.
The story was first reported by The Aviationist, which cited a statement from NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre that NATO scrambled Spanish Eurofighters and Italian F-35s on Thursday 29 July 2021 to intercept Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea.
“The NATO fighters, assigned to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission, identified two Il-22PP Mute electronic warfare aircraft … The Russian aircraft did not have flight plans nor transmit transponder codes, and thus posed a potential risk to civilian flights,” the statement said.
The Il-22PP, also known as Porubschik, is an advanced version of Soviet-era electronic warfare aircraft. It was developed by the Experimental Machine-Building Plant. V.M. Myasishchev (under the management of the Aviation Complex named after SV Ilyushin) on the basis of the IL-18 aircraft.
According to Russian media, the new aircraft wit is capable of ‘blinding’ Airborne Early Warning and Control System [AWACS] aircraft. The new Il-22PP Porubshchik can selectively disable enemy equipment using powerful interference while obstructing similar enemy means of electronic warfare.
The developers of the Porubshchik’s equipment claim that several such devices are capable of disrupting or even paralyzing all enemy actions in the required area.