Baltic air police scramble twice in two days

British Eurofighter Typhoon jets scrambled twice in two days this week to intercept Russian aircraft, NATO said in a release May 16.

The British Royal Air Force detachment at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, was scrambled by the Combined Air Operations Command (CAOC) at Uedem, Germany on both May 14 and May 15.

"The CAOC scrambled the RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft to identify several Russian Federation Air Force aircraft flying through international airspace controlled by the three Baltic States’ Air Traffic Control agencies. Some of the non-NATO aircraft did not transmit a valid transponder signal revealing their position to civilian air traffic controllers and were not in contact with local air traffic control, respectively," the release said.

The RAF Typhoons were supported by Hungarian Air Force JAS-39 Gripens out of Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, who also conducted their second alert scramble within two days. Hungary is the Baltic Air Policing lead nation at present.

Both the Hungarian and Royal Air Force fighter aircraft are deployed to the Baltic region to safeguard Allied airspace over Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and adjacent international airspace under NATO’s peacetime Baltic Air Policing mission as the Baltic states lack suitable intercept aircraft of their own.

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