British and Swedish military aircraft intercepted two Russian military planes flying near the airspace of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Sweden last night (Thursday), according to the Royal Air Force (RAF) of the United Kingdom.
The RAF stated that Swedish Air Force ‘Gripen’ aircraft, alongside British RAF ‘Typhoon’ jets, quickly moved to intercept a Russian ‘Su-27 Flanker’ fighter aircraft and an ‘Il-20’ reconnaissance aircraft.
NATO noted that the UK aircraft are deployed as part of the Alliance’s air policing mission over Baltic skies, known as the “Baltic Air Policing mission.”
In a tweet, the RAF stated that the two Russian aircraft did not adhere to international standards, failing to communicate with the relevant air traffic information regions. Nevertheless, they remained in international airspace and flew in a professional manner.
The RAF added, “This was a routine interception involving pilots and technicians from RAF’s No. 1 Squadron,” securing Baltic skies.
The Baltic republics lack air defences and do not deploy air forces. They rely on NATO members to patrol their airspace near the borders with Russia and Belarus.