Fighters scramble to intercept three military aircraft near NATO airspace

Dutch F-35 fighter jets scrambled to intercept a formation of Russian warplanes flying near Polish airspace, a Dutch defense official said.

The Dutch Defense Ministry said three Russian jets were escorted by two F-35 fighter jets.

“A then unknown aircraft approached NATO territory in Poland from Kaliningrad,” the statement said. It referred to a Russian enclave located between NATO members Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic Sea.

“After identification, it turned out to be three aircraft: a Russian IL-20M Coot-A escorted by two Su-27 Flankers,” the Dutch Foreign Ministry statement continued. “Dutch F-35s escorted the formation from afar and handed over the escort to their NATO partners.”

The Il-20M Coot-A is another name for the Russian Ilyushin Il-20M reconnaissance aircraft. The Su-27 Flanker is the same as the Russian Sukhoi Su-28 fighter.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense of Poland Said Politico Europe on Tuesday said the plane was traveling in international waters. [Poland’s] The airspace has been cut off,” a ministry spokesman said.

“Dutch F-35s stationed at Tactical Air Base 22 in Malbork scrambled on Monday to identify and intercept three Russian aircraft operating near Polish airspace,” said Poland. officials said.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has not issued any official statement on the interception. No statements were made by prominent state-run Russian media on Tuesday.

Epoch Times photo
Three Russian fighter jets escort a NATO warplane in the Black Sea, December 9, 2021. (Courtesy: Ministry of Defense of Russia)

The Dutch Ministry of Defense said eight Dutch F-35s will be stationed in Poland between February and March. The Polish Ministry of Defense added that the operation was routine.

The flyby is due to relative tensions between the Kremlin and NATO amidst the war between Russia and Ukraine. And the interception occurred when the United States, a NATO member, recently shot down several unknown objects over North American territory. The incident occurred days after an F-22 Raptor shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon near the South Carolina coast.

other incidents

It is not uncommon for Russian fighter jets to fly near NATO and US territory. In October, the U.S. military confirmed that two Air Force F-16 fighter jets had intercepted a Russian nuclear-capable bomber off the coast of Alaska after it was spotted within the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone.

“Recent Russian activity in the North American ADIZ is not considered threatening or provocative. NORAD will track and positively identify foreign military aircraft entering the ADIZ. NORAD regularly monitors foreign aircraft movements and escorts them from ADIZ as needed,” said a North American Aerospace Defense Force (NORAD) statement. Said at the time.

Weeks earlier, NORAD said it had tracked and identified two Russian patrol aircraft within the Canadian and Alaskan ADIZs, but the Russian aircraft did not enter US or Canadian airspace. .

Also in Europe, NATO announced last August that it had scrambled fighter jets over the Baltic and Black Seas after Russian aircraft were detected flying near Block’s airspace.

“NATO radar has tracked a number of unidentified aircraft in the Baltic and Black Seas since April 26,” NATO said, adding that “in their respective regions,” jets “intercept and identify approaching aircraft.” added that he had been called to Poland, Romania, Denmark, France, Spain and the UK have launched fighter jets to survey the affected airspace, it said.

In Asia, South Korean officials said a group of eight North Korean-operated fighter jets and four bombers flew in formation near the north-south border in October. They are believed to have conducted air-to-ground military exercises, according to South Korean military officials.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley traveled to Belgium to discuss increasing military support and funding for Ukraine amid a nearly year-long war with Russia. We talked.

At a press conference in Brussels, Millie detailed an object shot down near Lake Huron, Michigan, last weekend. The second missile was hit, revealing that the first missile caused no loss of life or property.

Reuters contributed to this report.