A series of training events is taking place in eastern Europe.
NATO and regional Allies are involved in a series of training events in eastern Europe that go under the name of Allied Shield.
Allied Shield is a series of exercises that includes:
Exercise NOBLE JUMP, the first training deployment of Allied high-readiness units under the new Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) framework.
BALTOPS, a major Allied naval exercise in Poland that sees the involvement of the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52 Stratofortress bombers deployed to RAF Fairford, in UK, as well as NATO AWACS, US F-16s used as OPFOR (opposing forces), P-3 and P-8 Maritime patrol aircraft, German Tornados, Swedish Gripen and US KC-135 tankers.
SABER STRIKE, a big land exercise with forces scattered across the Baltic States.
TRIDENT JOUST, a NRF (NATO Response Force) command and control exercise in Romania.
According to NATO, approximately 15,000 troops from 19 different allied countries and 3 partner nations are taking part (or about to) in this series of training events whose purposes are “defensive and are a part of NATO’s assurance measures in response to challenges on NATO’s southern and eastern periphery.”
In other words, these are just some of the measures NATO has taken in the region to reassure local allies threatened by Russia.
Click here to open a larger version of the 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.
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.
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:
Air Policing jets on 21 MAR in international airspace above the Baltic Sea near LV border identified RU AF. 2x An-26, 2x Su-27, 2x Su-34.
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.
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.