Three Russian fighter planes were spotted flying near NATO territory on Monday night, with their transponders turned off. There were two jet fighters among the aircraft. Two F-35s were already stationed in northern Europe, and they were ordered to go after the invaders.
On Monday, three Russian planes were intercepted close to the Russian-Polish border. These planes included an Il-20M intelligence-gathering (‘spy’) jet and two SU-27 Flankers (the Russian equivalent of the American F-15 Eagle). According to the Polish news outlet Gazeta Wyborcza, the Russian planes crossed the Baltic in neutral airspace with their transponders switched off and entered Polish territory via the Kaliningrad Oblast, a tiny Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania.
NATO Baltic Air Policing Operation F-35s deployed in Malbork, the Netherlands, nabbed the pair. On Monday night, the Netherlands’ Ministry of Defense said that two F-35s had performed their maiden interception from Polish territory. Two SU-27 Flankers and a Russian IL-20M Coot-A were involved in the fight. They were escorted by F-35s from a distance before being transferred to NATO planes.
After the first intercept by the Dutch, German F-35s took over, and its pilots later shared photos they had taken of the Russian jet.
The Russian jets were reportedly “on the border” when they were intercepted, as reported by the Dutch daily De Telegraaf. Currently, eight Dutch planes are stationed in Poland as part of the NATO task force. Countries take turns policing the skies for varying durations of time as part of a rotational deployment. According to De Telegraaf, this was the first interception by Dutch fighter jets during their current deployment.
After weeks of concern over Chinese aerial surveillance and the Ukraine war, an escorted intelligence asset was intercepted over Europe. The British Royal Air Force often pursues Russian bombers in the North Sea in what are widely regarded to be tests of NATO’s capacity to react swiftly to the presence of Russian jets, and it is not uncommon for Russian aircraft to interfere on the edges of NATO airspace.
China’s reaction to the news that the US shot down three ‘UFOs’ above North America, which were allegedly solar-powered Chinese surveillance balloons, has fluctuated between fury and mockery. As a result of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s statement that the Royal Air Force is prepared to protect the country’s airspace, there has been an increase in interest in hostile monitoring of Western nations across the Atlantic in the United Kingdom.
In the meanwhile, the British Ministry of Defense has promised to assess the efficiency of current precautions taken to prevent invasions from considerable heights.