NATO jets intercept Russian aircraft near Estonian airspace
It was 2nd such encounter this week as NATO carries out joint air policing efforts in region
For the second time in a week, British and German fighter jets intercepted a Russian aircraft close to Estonian airspace on Friday as NATO carries out joint air policing efforts in the region.
The two Typhoon jets intercepted “a Russian military Tu-134 passenger jet, known by the NATO name Crusty, that was being escorted by two Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker fighter jets, and an AN-12 Cub military transport aircraft,” the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) said in a statement on Saturday.
The RAF said the operation was a “reassurance that the UK and Germany together with other NATO allies stand with their Estonian ally at this time of tension.”
“We quickly identified the Russian aircraft and then monitored it as it flew close to NATO airspace,” said Richard Leask, an RAF commander.
“The NATO Air Policing mission is carried out to ensure any aircraft of interest are intercepted to ensure we know who they are and maintain flight safety for all airspace users,” he added.
The RAF is deployed in Estonia on Operation Azotize, and will take over leadership from the German detachment in April.