OREANDA-NEWSThe Typhoon fighters of the British Air Force, based at the Emari airbase in Estonia, were twice intercepted by Russian Su-27 fighters in the skies over this country, which accompanied the Il-22 belonging to the Russian Air Force. It is reported by the Ministry of Defense of Great Britain. According to the ministry, for the first time British fighter jets rose to intercept unknown aircraft on 14 May.

“Six minutes after takeoff from Emari, we approached the Russian Il-22, which was accompanied by two Su-27s. Flying close at a safe distance, I and my slave were convinced that Russian aircraft were safely following outside Estonia’s airspace. Subsequently, we handed over the Russians to the Hungarian group that had flown up from Lithuania, which escorted them towards Kaliningrad, ”said the squadron commander Paul O'Grady.

The pilot noted that the Russian pilots acted professionally and the meeting in the air was not accompanied by any problems. The next day, May 15, British fighters again rose to intercept a pair of Russian Su-27 and Il-22, flying in the direction of Russia. In the British Ministry of Defense stressed that the interception was also made professionally and safely. NATO program to protect the airspace of not having its own fighters in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia has been implemented since 2004. Within its framework, fighters from NATO countries alternately cover the sky, based on air bases in Эmari and Siauliai.

Since May 2019, the NATO mission to patrol the airspace of the Baltic countries has been led by Hungary, which has deployed its JAS-39 Gripen fighter aircraft in Siauliai. F-18 Spanish air forces are also temporarily based there, and British Eurofighter Typhoon is located in Émari. According to NATO, the current deployment of alliance aircraft at the Baltic air bases is the 50th in a row as part of a patrol mission. British fighters participated in it in 2004, 2015 and 2016.