Belgian fighter jets on NATO duty intercepted Russian fighter aircraft over the Baltic Sea on Wednesday, 6 December 2023.

The Belgian Air Force deployed two F-16s from Šiauliai, Lithuania, after NATO radars detected unknown aircraft departing from Kaliningrad.

F-16 jets successfully tracked and identified two Russian Su-30 fighters, which were operating without communication with civilian Air Traffic Control.

NATO routinely monitors military activities near its borders and Allied jets are on 24/7 standby to safeguard NATO airspace and preserve territorial integrity,” a press release stated.

This operation marked the Belgian Air Force’s first rapid response since assuming the lead of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission earlier in the week. The intercepted Russian jets were located in the vicinity of NATO airspace over the Baltic Sea. The intercept was coordinated with the Swedish air force and was executed in a professional manner, following which the Belgian jets returned to their base in Lithuania.

Further emphasising NATO’s readiness, the release noted a subsequent incident involving French Air Force Mirage 2000-5s at Šiauliai. These aircraft were prepared to investigate another Russian aircraft from Kaliningrad but ultimately did not take off due to tactical developments.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also previously worked for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Ian M.
Ian M.
1 month ago

I’m always nonplussed by the poor quality of released footage and photo’s taken by military assets. In this day and age of Catherine Megapixel TI cameras (which I have used) and HD video I would have thought the images would be much better defined. Still ,good to see the QRF on their toes!

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

This is very worrying, I hope they can be stopped.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Why? Save war it won’t be. AFAIK they are flying in International airspace? Our aircraft fly on the periphery of Russia too.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

We should not fly there as it is far too far away and we don’t have fuel to do that anymore and it’s way too cold at the moment.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

True. We may also get lost.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Poor old Father Christmas eh, I worry about all the children.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

We will soon have an update of old Santa’s movements here I’m sure ! I wonder if it will be Typhoons or F35’s this year that will be assigned as escorts. I have set aside a nice bottle of Port for when George posts his traditional Christmas article. 😆

Old Tony
Old Tony
1 month ago

If things went hot, would F-16s be able to outfight SU-30s ?

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  Old Tony

Don’t worry, if the performance of the Russian air force in Ukraine is anything to go by they’d get hammered by NATO in a real conflict.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Old Tony

Would very much depend on the missiles each carry, sensors and situational awareness from external sources, the individual capability of the aircraft a lesser factor. I would back NATO assets in such an engagement esp after any initial sneaky ‘surprise’ event. Esp after the performance of Russian assets in the Black Sea when for whatever reason trying to shoot down a Rivet Joint and failing miserably in both communication and failing missiles.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Old Tony

In a heartbeat, the Russians are massively lacking in equipment and training.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Old Tony

Apparently according to one member on here, the F18 scares no-one anymore so I guess the F16 might struggle. cough.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

F16 have had continual modification with incremental Block builds.

I think knowing enemy intentions will determine the type of engagement:
Fairly routine transit between Russian AFBs – illuminate them for ATC;
High likelihood of action – build up of enemy forces on borders etc, tactical approach to contact, shoot the barstewards down if in NATO territory.

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Old Tony

Too many variables – RAF Typhoons have trained with IAF SU30’s so some knowledge would be available,but i wouldn’t underestimate Russian Fighters by any means.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

Is there any more news ? are they still heading for the UK ?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Yes, they did a low pass over Ryde and have now headed home for vodka.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

Well that was a close one, I hope we can learn from this near call. It does make me wonder how the UK can allow these airspace violations.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Well since the 2 Typhoon Sqns were removed from RAF Tangmere after the latest defence cuts that channel area of the UKADR is a bit thin.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

I blame Spaghetti Junction, it’s a pig to negotiate Frank esp when high on magic mushrooms.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I think they should rename it Curry Junction now, you get big waft of Vindaloo every time you drive through Brum ! Curry Junction with Magic Mushroom Rice sounds like a great Idea.😆

Micki
Micki
1 month ago

Russians they,re not so idiot to invade Europe, even they,re not able to win in Ukraine, you can imagine to fight against 25 countries, stop the panic.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Micki

On the flip side, They still have a fair chunk of Ukraine despite said 25 countries help.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Sadly that’s got a lot to do with having 3 or 4 times the population. Europes population far out ways Russias, though my greatest worry would be how many would willingly want to be cannon fodder, unlike the Russians.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Micki

Well the Germans and Poles clearly disagree with you in that regard. I fear the Russians will use a myriad of aggressive moves against Europe testing resolve and from who, using their nuclear threat as their perceived Ace Card. How far that will go is in my view very dependent upon the present conflict and the US election, and some elections in Europe no doubt where populism is an unpredictable factor. A misstep could really set things off I fear. And with a compliant or fearful population and Oil revenues seemingly able to reconstitute their military the Poles and Germans… Read more »

Brom
Brom
1 month ago

I wonder if the good people of kaliningrad would like to join the eu if offered a referendum ah la occupied Ukraine.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Brom

Well if it were still rightfully German or Polish I’m sure it would, sadly it’s been ethnically cleansed a long time ago.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Brom

I think the Referendum questions would be simple and democratic Brom.

Three options on the ballot….

A: I wish to remain part of Mother Russia and feel protected by the loving embrace of our dear leader Tsar Putin 1’st

B: Because of the protective embrace of our dear leader Tsar Putin 1’st, I wish to remain in Mother Russia.

C: Refer to A and B.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

If it ever came to a shooting match between NATO and Russia, Kaliningrad would have to be overun and captured on the first couple of days. Lets hope the UkR Army doesn’t run out of ammunition

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

If Russia suddenly magically won their ‘Special Military operation’ and pushed up to the Polish boarder with a view to crossing it with their rag tag rabble, the Polish alone would absolutely wipe the floor with them and send the survivor’s limping back over the boarder on foot.

We’ve all seen how utterly bloody useless the Russian Armed forces was during the initial stages of the invasion and that’s before the Ukrainians gutted their capabilities….

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Fair comment. However I wouldn’t underestimate the Russians – they are conducting daylight human wave assaults against seasoned UkR troops holding prepared defensive positions. Repeatedly. They have absorbed the UkR counter-offensive with deep minefields and counter-attacked using helicopter launched guided weapons and stand-off cruise missiles launched well to the rear by SU-25 etc Biden’s refusal to allow UkR to use their donated weaponry against legitimate targets inside Russia has played a major part in the current stalemate. Biden is frightened of Russian “escalation” Meanwhile the war criminal Putin continues to bomb hospitals, schools, air raid shelters etc with almost complete… Read more »

Stc
Stc
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

You are right about Putin, he’s the world’s biggest git , but he believes in the security of his country, whatever his personal percieved gains maybe. If only the UK had a PM whos concerns for the UK was 10% as strong as Putin for his country.A PM that” battered for Britain”. Whilst obeying international law, of course.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Yep, the Russian mentality David. Putin and his henchmen have a goal in mind ( not the goal they started with), but a goal nonetheless. He will kill as many of his own troops, Ukrainian troops and civilians to achieve that aim. What’s the aim, to try and pull something out of the mess he started to save face. Would Putin really be responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands to save face ???? The answer is yes and he won’t loose a minutes sleep from it either. They are all disposable peasants as far as that animal is… Read more »

Dokis
Dokis
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

I very, very sadly agree. Wish that were a decent and fast way to back to 2014 borders

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Dokis

Everyone underestimated putin. Or over estimated his sensibleness and having the same values. Even with 100,000s of Russians on Ukraines border most countries thought he wouldn’t invade and bought the its training nearly until he moved. Hindsight is a wonderful thing unfortunately. Ukraine can win this but need so much more help. Weapons and equipment. It’s becoming embarrassing the U.K. isn’t doing more. No production lines for vehicles, large increases in ammunition, aircraft and everything else that’s needed. If it’s the cost give Ukraine war loans with low interest like the USA did for the U.K. the U.K. knows what… Read more »

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

You read far too much of the bullshit Jim posts. I could answer all the obvious errors that you have made in this post, but really, I can’t be bothered – except to note that the UK is the third largest Ukr donor after America and Germany