14.08.2019 | Aggressive fighter jet confronts NATO plane - shock midair confrontation
Source - The Daily Express
Russian minister Sergei Shoigu was travelling over the Baltic sea on Tuesday when a NATO F-18 jet attempted to approach the plane. The close proximity of the two aircraft’s prompted one of two Russian SU-27 fighter jets accompanying Mr Shoigu to see it off. NATO have said their jets approached the Russian aircraft in order to identify it.
The Russian minister had been returning to Moscow from the Russian Baltic region of Kaliningrad, which is surrounded by Poland and Lithuania, and was carrying a TASS reporter on board, who subsequently reported the events.
The jet that approached the plane was reportedly a Spanish F-18 jet based in Lithuania.
A video of the incident shown on Russian state media showed a Russian jet sharply banking to the left in the direction of the NATO plane, forcing it to veer leftwards itself.
“Jets from NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission scrambled to identify the aircraft which flew close to Allied airspace.
“Once identification of the aircraft had taken place, the NATO jets returned to base.
“NATO has no information as to who was on board.”
Western military commanders have been on high alert in recent weeks, following Moscow’s vast military exercises in Eastern Europe.
Russian military continues to fly increasing close to Estonian airspace, leading to concerns over whether the NATO ally’s sovereignty was being violated.
British jets are based in Estonia as part of a four-month-long NATO air policing mission in the Baltic region and recently intercepted Russian aircrafts.
Last week British RAF Tycoon jets intercepted a TU-95 “Bear” bomber from Moscow and two SU-30 “Flanker” jets after they were spotted heading towards Estonian airspace.