VIDEO: U.S. intercepts Russian planes over Baltic

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The United States Air Force (USAF) posted a video on December 5 that shows the interception by F-15 fighters of two Russian Su-30s over the Baltic Sea in two separate episodes on November 23, 2017 and December 13, 2017.

The video is assembled from several different fragments and is notable different from the usual brief clips of planes in the sky.

It starts with a scene in which US pilots at the Zoknų base in Lithuania respond to alerts, showing them hurrying to get ready and take off as a siren wails in the background. There appear to be press waiting on the runway, suggesting this section was not footage shot on the same day as the actual intercept but taken from one of the regular media days the Baltic Air Policing mission hosts.

In the second section, two US F-15 fighter jets intercept and escort two Russian military Su-30s in international airspace above the Baltic Sea. The Russian planes fly in very close formation.

There is then an interview with a commanding officer, Lt Col Cody Blake.

The interception operation was necessary because Russian aircraft did not transmit the codes necessary for air traffic control and had not informed others about their flight plan, the U.S. said. 

Both interception operations were carried out by the 48th Aviation Group's 493rd Fighter Squadron, with has its main base in the United Kingdom.

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The video was released as the U.S. hands over Baltic Air Policing duties to the Danish air force at the Lithuanian base.

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