Polish F-16s intercept Russian spy plane over Baltics
PR dla Zagranicy
Two Polish F-16 jets were scrambled from NATO bases in the Baltics on Monday to identify a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance plane.
Polish Air Force F-16s leave their shelter at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania to get airborne within minutes on their first alert scramble. Photo: Michał Pataj/Polish Air Force
The deployment of the Polish planes participating in an air policing mission in the Baltics was preceded by a similar operation by the Spanish Air Force, which identified an SU-24 fighter bomber.
“The sorties took place under the Allies’ 24/7 routine peacetime mission safeguarding the airspace of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania,” NATO’s Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) said a statement, adding that this was the first alert scramble out of the Polish and Spanish bases in the Baltics during this mission.
“In both cases they were set off by the Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany, and the Control and Reporting Centres at Karmelava, Lithuania, to execute a visual identification of an unidentified aircraft,” the statement added.
The Polish Air Force and the Spanish Air Force took over NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission at Šiauliai, Lithuania, and Ämari, Estonia in early May.