A RNLAF F-16 (Image © Elmer van hest)

Dutch catch their first Russian over Baltics

The F-16s took off from Malbork, Poland. (Image © Elmer van hest)
The F-16s took off from Malbork, Poland. (Image © Elmer van hest)

Dutch F-16s on Wednesday evening caught their first Russian aircraft while taking part in NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission, Dutch MoD said on Thursday. Operating from Malbork airbase in Poland, the F-16s intercepted a Russian Ilyushin cargo aircraft that approached Baltic airspace without a flight plan.

It was the first ‘live’ intercept for the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-16s since the start of their deployment to Malbork in September. The Russian cargo aircraft was escorted toward the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. Intercepts by other NATO aircraft in the last few weeks proved to be a little less harmful, as large numbers of Tu-95 Bear, Su-24 Fencer, Su-34 Fullback and Su-27 Flankers were intercepted on numerous occasions. See here for an impression of other intercepts so far in 2014.

The Dutch participation in the Baltic Air Policing mission will end in the new year. Dutch F-16 pilot also use the opportunity to train with Polish Air Force pilots.

© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest