NATO Jets Intercept Russian Fighters Twice in Two Days Over Baltic

Canadian CF-18, August 20, 2012NATO scrambled fighter jets – including two Canadian F-18s – twice in two days to intercept Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea, it said Tuesday amid reports that Russian military activity in the region is increasing.

Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Gericke said the Russian aircraft were flying in international airspace and had not violated the territory of alliance members.

Two Canadian F-18 Hornet jets were scrambled from the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania on Monday to intercept a Russian Ilyushin-20 surveillance aircraft, which they shadowed for some 15 minutes, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said. . . .

Earlier, the Latvian military tweeted that NATO F-16 jets were dispatched on Tuesday to intercept a Russian Ilyushin-20 surveillance aircraft over the Baltic Sea. Gericke confirmed that NATO jets had also intercepted a Russian aircraft that day, but could not immediately provide more details.

Image: Canadian CF-18, August 20, 2012 (photo: Patrick Cardinal)