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NATO jets conducted intercept of Russian fighters over Baltic Sea

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

Belgian fighter jets on NATO duty intercepted Russian fighter aircraft over the Baltic Sea on Wednesday (6 December 2023). NATO radars had picked up unknown aircraft departing Kaliningrad and two Belgian Air Force F-16s were launched out of Šiauliai in Lithuania to investigate. They tracked and identified two Russian Su-30 fighter jets which were not in contact with civilian Air Traffic Control.

 

The intercept, which was also coordinated with the Swedish air force, was conducted in professional manner. Following the intercept, the Belgian jets returned to their base in Lithuania. Later in the day, French Air Force Mirage 2000-5s, currently also deployed to Šiauliai, were readied to investigate another Russian aircraft flying out of Kaliningrad. However, due to tactical development of the situation, the Mirages did not take off.

 

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Fighter jets from Belgium, France, Germany, Poland and Türkiye took up NATO air policing duties on the Alliance’s eastern flank starting in December. Wednesday’s mission was the first for the Belgian air force since taking up NATO duties and shows the readiness of NATO’s Air Policing system to respond quickly to situations that develop near NATO airspace. NATO routinely monitors military activities near its borders and Allied jets are on 24/7 standby to safeguard NATO airspace and preserve territorial integrity.

 

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