U.S. F-15s performing Estonia independence flyby diverted to intercept Russian spyplane

Feb 26 2014 - 6 Comments

U.S. F-15s scheduled to perform a flyover in Estonia, intercepted a Russian spyplane then took part to the parade.

On Feb. 24, Estonia celebrated its independence day.

Part of the celebrations was also a military parade in the city of Pärnu. U.S. F-15C fighters belonging to the 48th FW, currently deployed to Lithuania’s first air base in Zokniai, near Siauliai, took part to the flyby but they were forced to do double duty since they were first diverted to intercept a Russian plane.

Unfortunately,  no details about the aircraft that was intercepted were released. The official statement by Estonian authorities says only: “Fighters identified the plane as a spy plane belonging to Russia.”

The U.S. Air Force has four F-15s from RAF Lakenheath deployed to Lithuania to undertake air policing in the Baltic states. The aircraft have replaced the Belgian F-16AMs and, since January, they guard the airspace over Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, whose air defense is provided on a rotational basis by 14 NATO states since 2004.

Aircraft on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) at Siauliai are often scrambled by CRP (Control and Reporting Post) of Amari, Estonia, to intercept Il-20 spyplanes, Tu-22M Backfire bombers and Su-27 fighter jets, skirting Baltic states airspaces as images posted in 2013 show.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


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  • Carl

    Fly by in Estonia, “no money” for the Army-Navy games…

    • Victorinox

      costs of NATO’s air policing mission
      in the Baltics are paid by the countries requesting the protection. Lithuania with the host
      airfield pays half of the costs, while Latvia with Estonia covers the rest…
      Stop whining

      • ATman

        It’s all politicizing the U.S. and Canadian display teams are not flying there usual displays yet our deployed fighter jets are still repping our countries. It creates more public support on behalf of the Millitary coffers if they skimp on displays and promotions at home.

      • Carl

        I appreciate your clarification, but not your unkind remark. It was uncalled for.

    • hey, quit whining. America has obamacare now

      • CheetahFang258

        I hope Europe is happy, Maybe they’ll stop screaming at us about healthcare now.