Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets based in Lithuania have launched for the fifth time to intercept Russian aircraft off the Baltic coast.

The Royal Air Force say that the Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth based 6 Squadron, intercepted a Russian IL-78 MIDAS Air to Air refuelling aircraft that was operating over the Baltic Sea and was a routine NATO Air Policing mission.

Wing Commander Stu Gwinnutt the commanding officer of the deployed 135 Expeditionary Air Wing, that is currently deployed at Siauliai air base in Lithuania conducting the NATO mission said in a news release:

“Today’s interception, though routine, is a continuing sign of why it is necessary to deploy the NATO Air Policing Mission here, to ensure that all air users in this region can conduct their activities in a safe and professional manner.”

The current NATO Baltic Air Policing mission sees the RAF working alongside a Spanish Air Force detachment at Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania and a French Air Force detachment at Amari Air Base in Estonia.

According to the Ministry of Defence:

“The UK operates in support of NATO to reassure our Allies and is a part of the wider UK NATO commitments in the region.  These include leading the NATO Battlegroup deployed in Estonia and supplying troops to the US led Battle Group based in Poland as part of NATOs enhanced Forward Presence mission.”

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Ulya
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Ulya

No one loves this article George

Damo
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Damo

Always wondered, do the Finns do much intercepting or dp they try not to provoke Russia? I know they train hard to repel/slow a land invasion

Paul T
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Paul T

Id imagine the Finn’s Police their Airspace just the same as everybody else,i wouldnt consider that as a provocation.

David Barry
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David Barry

It’s good training for the pilots but does anyone know the ROE? When would, if ever, a NATO plane fire on a Russian plane flying over international waters?

Daveyb
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Daveyb

They will follow the same ROE as used with civilian aircraft. It also depends on the context, is the aircraft flying over the Ocean flying West away from land or flying toward a built up area? Basically they will try to go through the guard channels via radio to get a response, if that fails they will try visual communications using placards. If that fails they will try to gauge why the crew are unresponsive by flying “close” to the cockpit. This is just in case the crew have succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning or have been hijacked. If the… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

“These aircraft are then “sheparded” to Stansted airport.

Where they are parked in a very specific spot.

Daveyb
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Daveyb

Correct