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Eurofighter in action: Germany launches first NATO Alert Scramble out of Lielvarde

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office, Defence Industry Europe

In the morning of March 1, only hours after going “on status” for conducting NATO Air Policing out of Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, two German Air Force Eurofighter jets took off for the first ever alert scramble out of Latvia to meet two Russian military aircraft flying close to NATO territory off the Latvian coast over international waters.

 

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The Latvian Control and Reporting Centre recorded a track of non-NATO aircraft off the Latvian coast and reported that to the Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany. Here, the decision was taken to alert the German Eurofighters at Lielvarde on their first day of Air Policing duties and the jets took off for the first ever alert scramble out of the base.

 

In the morning of March 1, only hours after going “on status” for conducting NATO Air Policing out of Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, two German Air Force Eurofighter jets took off for the first ever alert scramble out of Latvia to meet two Russian military aircraft flying close to NATO territory off the Latvian coast over international waters.
Photo: Luftwaffe.

 

Once airborne, the German pilots received further details about their mission and they approached Russian military aircraft which were operating over the Baltic Sea. The Russian aircrew did not use a flight plan, were not in contact with Civilian Air Traffic Control and did not use transponder to indicate their identity. Once the German pilots conducted a visual identification and confirmed the aircraft type, they escorted the Russian planes and, eventually, finished their mission and returned to Lielvarde Air Base. The event was a routine interception conducted in a professional manner.

 

 

“This first alert take-off of German Eurofighters from Lielvarde showcases NATO’s ability and commitment to deter and if necessary defend Allied airspace. We are aware and ready 24/7 of potential threats to our territory,” said Colonel Viesturs Masulis, commander of the Latvian Air Force. “The NATO Air Policing command and control procedures for Lielvarde and the German Detachment were established on February 29, 2024 and within one day all participants confirmed their capability to respond professionally and swiftly to an alert situation at NATO’s borders in the region. We are proud demonstration of collective cooperation,” he concluded.

 

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