NATO Fighters Scrambled 12 Times to Escort Russian Warplanes

A Russian SU-27 Flanker aircraft banks away with a RAF Typhoon in the background from June 2014.

The Latvian National Armed Forces issued a statement on Wednesday that NATO Air Policing jets were scrambled twelve times to intercept Russian warplanes that were approaching the Latvian border.

A tweet by The Latvian National Armed Forces stated that four Russian MiG-31 interceptors; four SU-24 fighters; three AN-26 transports;  and one IL-76 transport were involved.

Governments in the Baltic and Nordic regions have raised concerns about the serious risk of collision posed by hundreds of Russian military aircraft flying in the Baltic Sea region without transponders. A number of near miss situations have been reported in the Baltic Sea region over the past year.

The Russian aircraft use a corridor over the Baltic Sea to access the Russian held enclave of Kaliningrad, between Lithuania and Poland.

In December 2014, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused the Russian airforce of putting civilian aircraft at risk saying “it is not only a question of increased flights but it’s the way they’re conducting the flights. They are not filing their flight plans and they are not communicating with civilian air traffic control and they are not turning on their transponders.”

Russian military aircraft have been intercepted over or near a number of NATO and EU member states, including The United States, UK, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Russian AN-26


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