The Republic of Turkey Ministry of National Defense has reported that its two F-16 fighter jets scrambled to intercept Russian Su-24 Fencer attack jets that were flying over the Baltic Sea.
According to a press release from Defense Ministry, F-16s scrambled to shadow Russian military aircraft in support of NATO’s Air Policing Mission in the Baltic airspace. Also stated that Turkish F16 fighter jets were sent from Malbork Air Base in Poland to intercept low-flying targets over the Baltic Sea.
“As part of the Enhanced Air Policing mission, the 161st Jet Fleet Command aircraft in Malbork/Poland took off upon NATO’s order. The Turkish aircraft safely performed the interception mission in the Baltic airspace with the guidance of the radar authorities by taking off within the specified time,” said in a statement on an official Facebook account.
The Ministry also posted the video on social media on Sept. 3, which showed the moment when F-16 shadowed a pair of Russian Su-24s.
An 80-strong Turkish Air Force detachment operates the fighters from Malbork until mid-September in support of NATO’s Air Policing mission in the region. This is the second time, the Turkish Air Force contributes fighter jets to NATO Air Policing in the region, and the first deployment to Malbork, Poland.
This third Air Policing detachment in the region – in addition to the Spanish Air Force at Šiauliai, Lithuania, and the Italian Air Force at Ämari, Estonia – is an uptake of additional aircraft offers made by the Allies. The deployment of another additional fighter detachment to Malbork, POL, takes place under the auspices of the existing NATO enhanced Air Policing posture introduced in 2014. The deployment underlines the solidarity and cohesion among NATO Allies and the collective commitment to deterrence and defense.