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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Russian military aircraft intercepted by Dutch jets near Poland

Two SU-27 Flankers and one Ilyushin Il-20M are among the three Russian aircraft that have been identified, according to the Dutch MoD.

Two Dutch F-35 fighters intercepted a formation of three Russian military aircraft near Poland and escorted them out, the Netherlands’ defence ministry said in a statement late on Monday.

“The then unknown aircraft approached the Polish NATO area of responsibility from Kaliningrad,” according to Reuters’ translation of the ministry’s statement.

Kaliningrad is a Russian Baltic coast enclave located between NATO and European Union members Poland and Lithuania.

“After identification, it turned out to be three aircraft: a Russian IL-20M Coot-A that was escorted by two Su-27 Flankers. The Dutch F-35s escorted the formation from a distance and handed over the escort to NATO partners.”

The Il-20M Coot-A is NATO’s reporting name for the Russian Ilyushin Il-20M reconnaissance aircraft while the Su-27 Flankers are NATO’s reporting name for the Sukhoi Su-28 fighter aircraft.

The RNLAF has deployed its eight F-35 multi-role combat aircraft in Poland for February and March.

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Of the total deployed aircraft, four jets operate out of Malbork Air Base, Poland, to carry out surveillance duties over the Eastern Europe region to safeguard Nato airspace.

Meanwhile, two aircraft under the QRA force are permanently available to take off within minutes to intercept any unidentified aircraft tracked in the allied airspace, if required.

Nato Allied Air Command tweeted: “NLF-35s carried out their first A-Scramble to intercept Russian SU-27s & an IL-20 flying close to #NATO airspace. Supported by DE Eurofighters they shadowed RU aircraft who were posing a danger to other air users by ignoring international air safety rules.”

Reuters story with additional input from Global Village Space News Desk.