Carpathian Vipers Romanian pilots intercepted Russian military aircraft near NATO space

A Russian military transport aircraft was intercepted, on Tuesday, by the Romanian Air Force, which is on an air police mission in the Baltic States region.

“The most recent interception mission for the Carpathian Vipers took place on May 30, when F-16s were alerted by the NATO Air Operations Center in Uedem, Germany. A military transport aircraft, belonging to the Russian Federation, was detected in the NATO area of ​​responsibility, near the airspace of the Baltic countries. According to standard Alliance procedures, after interception, the aircraft was safely escorted until the air situation was cleared,” reads a Romanian Aviation Forces’ Facebook post.

A detachment consisting of approximately 100 soldiers and four F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft belonging to the Romanian Air Force is participating in the reinforced air police mission in the Baltic States, between April and July. The main objective of the mission carried out in the airspace of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is to prevent the violation of allied airspace and to provide assistance to military and civilian aircraft in emergency situations arising during the flight. The personnel who are deployed in Lithuania, at the Siauliai Air Base, mostly come from the 53rd “Warhawks” Fighter Squadron of the 86th Air Base “Lieutenant Aviator Gheorghe Mociorniţă”.

The Enhanced Air Police Mission in the Baltic States under NATO command – Baltic Air Policing (BAP), as part of the military surveillance of the airspace of the Baltic states, is carried out on the basis of a system of rotation of tasks carried out by the allied countries since 2004. In in 2007, the Romanian Air Force also participated in this mission with four MiG-21 LanceR aircraft of the 71st “General Emanoil Ionescu” Air Base in Turzii Plain.

Portuguese and Romanian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons are helping shield the skies over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission.

Baltic Air Policing was established to secure the skies over the Baltic countries, which don’t have fighters capable of intercepting unknown air contacts. To cover their Allies, several NATO countries send jets to air bases in Lithuania and Estonia, where they are on standby for any contingency.

Air policing is a peacetime activity that takes place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When NATO Combined Air Operations Centres (CAOCs) detect air traffic that isn’t responding to hails, they can scramble jets to intercept and visually identify the aircraft.

Baltic Air Policing (BAP)Baltic statesCarpathian VipersEnhanced Air Police MissionF-16 Fighting FalconNATO spaceRomanian Air ForceRomanian pilotsRussian military aircraft
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