NATO air patrols intercept Russian planes

NATO Baltic Air Policing (BAP) QRA MiG-29 jets scrambled Friday morning to intercept a Russian Armed Forces Sukhoi supersonic all-weather attack aircraft Su-24, as well as a Russian Armed Forces Antonov transport plane An-24 over the Baltic Sea, Latvia’s National Armed Forces (NBS) tweeted today.

 

This was the latest in a series of unexpected fly-overs for which Baltic-based NATO BAP patrol planes have scrambled in recent months.

Also recently naval forces encountered Russian military vessels in neutral waters just off Latvia's maritime territories on July 22, as well as in June. 

On July 11 official military news portal Sargs.lv reported that BAP jets had scrambled 50 times over the previous eight-week period to check out possible Russian violations of airspace over the Baltic region.

According to information agency LETA, the Russian planes usually operate with their automatic receivers off and without a flight plan, and refuse to respond to civilian air controllers, prompting criticism particularly in Sweden that they pose a hazard to civilian flights.

Friday's incident happened just two days after Estonian newspaper Postimees reported Russian ground attack planes had been detected flying close to the Lithuanian border inside Belarus in what may have been a dummy attack on Lithuania's Siauliai airbase. 

 

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