Tag Archives: NATO

The most interesting close encounters between NATO and Russian planes since 2013 in one infographic

Mapped, all the most interesting close encounters between NATO and Russian warplanes all around the world since 2013.

Last week, all those readers who completed a quick survey on The Aviationist were given the possibility to download an exclusive ebook: “Cold War 2.0: All the most significant close encounters between NATO and Russian warplanes since 2013″

The ebook is a collection of posts we have published on this site between 2013 and 2015, and helps you understand how routine interceptions have become recurrent, tenser and more dangerous; the proof that we live in a new Cold War, or a “Cold War 2.0″, as we dubbed it.

Based on our ebook, Willum Morsch, Graphics editor at The Volkskrant prepared an interesting infographic that maps all the events we have reported about in our 70-page report.

Click below for a larger version of the infographic; by the way, you can still download the ebook after taking the survey here.

Image credit: de Volkskrant/The Aviationist

 

Here are some cool images of Russian Su-34 attack planes intercepted by Spanish Typhoons over the Baltic

Some cool pics showing the “zombies” intercepted by the Spanish Eurofighter Typhoons have emerged.

Deployed at Ämari airbase, in Estonia, four Eurofighter Typhoons and 114 personnel of the Ejército del Aire (Spanish Air Force) have been supporting the NATO Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission since Jan. 1, 2015.

Four C.16s (according to the SpAF designation) belonging to Ala 11, from Moron airbase, contribute to the air defense of the airspaces of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Just like the Italian Typhoons deployed at Siauliai, Lithuania, the Spanish C.16s of the “Detachment Amber” are frequently requested to scramble to identify and escort Russian warplanes flying over the Baltic Sea.

On the Spanish media outlet ABC.es, one of our readers, Antonio Valencia, has found some cool images that show the Spanish Air Force Typhoons escorting some Russian Air Force planes, including a couple of Su-34 Fullback bombers.

Camo Su-34

Once again, such photographs confirm that the Baltic is the stage for some really interesting close encounters between Baltic Air Patrol QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) jets with “Ivan”.

Although no further detail about the images has been released, the fact that they depict two Su-34s at least one Su-27 and one An-26 may suggest the photographs were shot on Mar. 21, when two An-26s, two Su-27s, two Su-34s were identified according to the Latvia MoD:

However, needless to say, they may have been taken on different missions.

As leading service of the current BAP rotation, the Italian Air Force has recently claimed that its Typhoons have launched 27 times (currently 28) since the beginning of the year to intercept Russian aircraft flying in international airspace.

Although such “escorts” are no more than routine stuff most of the times, a few intercept missions have been a bit tense: in one case, a Tu-22 was unusually flying at supersonic speed towards Sweden; in another episode, a Mig-31 Foxhound almost collided (at least according to the Royal Norwegian Air Force report) with an F-16 involved in a Su-34 identification and escort mission.

An-26

Image credit: SpAF via Foro de las FAS españolas

 

Italian Eurofighter Typhoons ready to take over lead role in NATO Baltic Air Policy

Four Italian Air Force Typhoons will provide Baltic Air Policing duties from Siauliai airbase, Lithuania.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the Italy will take over the role of lead nation in the NATO Baltic Air Policing (BAP).

Four Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon jets will deploy to Siauliai airbase, in Lithuania, where they will relieve the four Portuguese F-16s at their second rotation at the eastern border of NATO.

Currently committed to the operation are also four CF-188s of the Royal Canadian Air Force, as well as German Air Force Eurofighters out of Ämari, Estonia, and Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s out of Malbork, Poland that will replaced by Polish MiG-29s and Spanish Eurofighters scheduled to deploy to Šiauliai, Lithuania, and Ämari, Estonia, respectively.

Aircraft providing BAP are regularly scrambled to intercept, identify and escort Russian Air Force planes (including spyplanes and bombers) flying in international airspace close to the airspaces of NATO countries.

With the participation to the BAP, Italy will become the very first nation to provide air policing tasks over four foreign airspaces: Iceland (on rotation), Slovenia, Albania (task shared with the Hellenic Air Force) and Lithunia.

 

Dutch F-16 took an interesting video of armed Russian Su-34 attack planes intercepted over the Baltics

Russian Air Force Su-34 Fullback attack planes have become frequent visitors of the Baltic region.

On Dec. 8, two Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s based at Malbork in Poland to provide NATO Baltic Air Policing duties in the Baltic States have intercepted and escorted two Russian Air Force Su-34 Fullback bombers flying in international airspace (with no FPL – Flight Plan).

The two Su-34s were flying southbound to Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave, located between Poland and Lithuania, home of some Russian military airfield.

According to the Dutch Ministry of Defense, it was the second interception by Dutch F-16s since the RNlAF planes were detached to Poland on Sept. 3: the first scramble took place on Nov. 12 when the QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) jets shadowed a four-engine Ilyushin transport aircraft flying north of Estonia and Lithuania.

Su-34s are becoming frequent visitors of the airspaces of northern Europe.

The first photos showing Russian Air Force Fullback warplanes in the Baltics were taken last month by RNoAF F-16s on QRA at Bodo airbase. More recently, the Royal Norwegian Air Force has released an HUD (Head Up Display) video that would show Russian aggressive flying by a Mig-31 escorting two Su-34s at the end of October off Finmark.

As already highlighted by NATO, Russian activities in the Baltics have surged in 2014: since the beginning of the year, NATO planes were scrambled to identify and escort Russian planes more than 100 times; three times as many as in 2013.

H/T to Giuliano Ranieri and Lasse Holmstrom for the heads-up

 

Photo of Secretary General of NATO aircraft escorted by Dutch F-16s over the Baltic enroute to Estonia

This is what is what a HVAAE (High Value Air Asset Escort) looks like from inside the plane being escorted!

On Nov. 20, Secretary General of NATO, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, visited Estonia as part of a tour of the Baltic States.

Before arriving at Estonia’s Ämari Airbase the Stoltenberg aircraft was accompanied and escorted by Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s based at Malbork in Poland.

The Dutch contingent, made of four F-16 Fighting Falcon jets, is supporting NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission along with the Canadian CF-18 Hornets and the Portuguese F-16s based at Šiauliai in Lithuania and the German Eurofighter Typhoons based at Ämari

“[…] the presence or jets and troops from many nations demonstrates the resolve of all allies to stand with the Baltic nations. All for one. One for all,” he said.

The sort-of HVAAE mission flown by the Dutch F-16 was rather symbolic, since there was no risk of any air threat to the NATO VIP flight. Still, it was an opportunity to get some nice photographs, as the one you can see on top of this article.

NATO fighter jets deployed in the Baltic Region have frequently been scrambled to investigate and escort Russian Air Force planes in the area.

Image credit: NATO