Espreso. Global

NATO fighter jets intercept Russian aircraft over Baltic 20-25% more frequently in first quarter of 2024

17 May, 2024 Friday
11:47

NATO says the NATO's flights to intercept Russian aircraft approaching Allied airspace over the Baltic Sea region increased by 20-25% in the first quarter of 2024

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Reuters reported the information, citing a NATO source.

It noted that the likely cause is the increase in NATO exercises.

The source declined to give a specific figure for the number of Russian aircraft spotted near NATO territory.

Last year, the Alliance said that allied fighter jets took off over 300 times to intercept Russian military aircraft, with most of the incidents occurring over the Baltic.

However, unlike in the past, Western pilots now hardly ever detect any Russian fighter or strategic bomber approaching Allied airspace, and most intercepts are now carried out by surveillance aircraft or sometimes transport aircraft, the source said.

It is unclear why Russia has changed its behavior, but there is speculation that Moscow needs its bombers and fighters in Ukraine as the fighting there becomes more intense, the source added.

NATO claims that Russian military aircraft have not previously transmitted a transponder code indicating their position and altitude, filled out a flight plan, or communicated with air traffic controllers.

  • On 6 May, Poland sent up fighter jets to intercept a Russian plane over the Baltic Sea.
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