Russia claimed to have pressured a fighter jet of the NATO Western navy alliance away from a airplane carrying Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in an encounter that seems to have been caught on tape.
Two Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighters escorting Shoigu on a return to journey Tuesday to Moscow from Kaliningrad when a NATO F-18 tried to method the airplane because it flew over impartial territory within the Baltic Sea, based on the state-run Tass Russian News Agency. At least one of many two Su-27s then reportedly chased off the incoming plane.
A video later revealed by the Russian Defense Ministry appeared to corroborate the incident, exhibiting an Su-27 banking left towards what resembled a Spanish F/A-18 Hornet, which was pressured to maneuver in the identical course to be able to distance itself. A second video shared on-line appeared to point out the identical encounter from inside Shoigu’s airliner.
The Russian Defense Ministry’s official Zvezda information outlet additionally reported on the incident.
In an announcement despatched to Newsweek, a NATO official stated: “A Russian aircraft, escorted by at least one Russian fighter jet, was tracked over the Baltic Sea earlier today.”
“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,” the official added. “NATO has no information as to who was on board.”
Images of a Spanish F/A-18 with the identical quantity and related symbols on its vertical stabilizers might be discovered on-line. Such plane had been primarily based in Siauliai, Lithuania since May as a part of Spain’s newest deployment beneath NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission overlaying the airspace above and close to the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Spain was taking part within the Baltic Air Policing round this identical time final 12 months as properly when one if its Eurofighter Typhoon jets accidentally fired an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) throughout an train over southeastern Estonia. No casualties had been ever reported and the projectile was by no means discovered.
Such workout routines have typically irked Moscow, which often protests the heightened presence of NATO nations like Spain throughout the Baltics and in Poland, all of which border Russia. Intercepts weren’t unusual over the area and as lately as earlier this month the United Kingdom despatched Eurofighter Typhoons to tail numerous Russian transport planes, fighters and bombers flying above the Baltic Sea on a lot of events.
In June, the Russian Defense Ministry stated it scrambled an Su-27 to intercept U.S. RC-135 and Swedish Gulfstream spy planes additionally over the Baltic Sea. The encounter was certainly one of many who have occurred since 2014, when Russia’s annexation of Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine amid political unrest and allegations of Moscow’s hand in an japanese insurgence prompted NATO to undertake a harder stance towards its conventional rival.