German Typhoons have intercepted 7 Russian Air Force combat planes over the Baltic Sea today

NATO Baltic Air Policing mission is quite busy these days….

According to the Latvian military, on Oct. 28, the German Air Force Eurofighter jets on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) at Amari, Estonia, to provide NATO Baltic Air Policing were scrambled to intercept seven Russian Air Force planes flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea.

The German interceptors identified the Russian planes as a large package, made of attack planes and escort, which included 2x MiG-31 Foxhound, 2x Su-34 Fullback, 1x Su-27 Flanker and 2x Su-24 Fencer jets.

Regardless to whether the Russian aircraft were involved in one of the frequent training missions in the Baltics or were commuting to/from the Russian airfield in Kaliningrad oblast, the package on Oct 28 represents one of the largest “formations” intercepted by NATO fighter planes during the last couple of years.

Usually, close encounters involve Russian, Swedish or U.S. spyplanes intercepted before (or after) violating sovereign airspaces. Sometimes, scrambles are required to greet Moscow’s Tu-22 or Tu-95 bombers on long-range training patrols or strike packages involved in (alleged) simulated air strikes on one of North Europe’s states (usually, Sweden).

Anyway, Russian Air Force missions in the Baltic area have surged, to such an extent NATO presence has quadrupled in the last year: from one nation providing four aircraft in QRA at one base in Lithuania (Šiauliai), to four nations (currently Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Canada) at two airbases (the second being Amari, in Estonia).

Image credit: Eurofighter – Geoffrey Lee, Planefocus Ltd


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Putin is pushing the envelope to distract Russia’s attention from their self-inflicted misery.

    • Putin is testing. He is instigating. He is prodding.
      Why would he do this?
      Because he wants to know which countries in particular will be involved when he does something even stupider than he has already done.
      If NATO does not show any strength, it will be assumed that there will be no response. By “strength” I mean the fact that he will fly war formations near other nations to test their responses. If no one responds.. even in international waters by showing that these areas are being monitored, he will find weak spots. Ruassia is flying war-time formations of aircraft to test local countries’ responses. How is this not something to respond to? Have you ANY military knowledge or do you just post items that have no value at all times?

      • How do you get he was “pushing”?

        The planes were in LEGAL INTERNATIONAL AIRSPACE!

        That is like saying if you were on a Delta flight to Italy that Russia could blare headlines:


        Come on man, see the propaganda for what it is.

    • For argument’s sake: I’m your neighbor and just setup a mini-gun on a tripod with a full belt loaded. Its in my yard but close enough to your home to turn it into swiss cheese. I have not pointed it at your home, or fired. You would be prudent to monitor and express concern….no?

        • Prove it. 90% of those “bases” are actually two platoons of SEALs or Green Berets doing FID operations with the host country, at the invitation of the host country.

          That whole, whining tantrum about how the US is sorrunding Russia is complete idiocy. I don’t expect the Russian’s to know better really, they’re the most brainwashed tools on the planet. I do expect Americans and Europeans to know better though (and most do).

    • Are you kidding? The Russians can barely make quality refrigerators or lawn mowers that work. The Germans built incredible weapons during WWII, and they have successfully transferred this skill and engineering expertise to the commercial market.

      • Charlie, now I’m a brother but the truth be spoken, from my knowledge, the Russians may not have made precision quality mechanisms, however, the Kalishnakov and most of their crudely made motorized vehicles stood up to the harshest evironments when the German War Machine Froze up. Notwithstanding, was the sheer determination of the Russian people to fight to protect their homelands. Even in Nam Brother, many of our own tossed their M-16s for an AK and why , because they Worked flawlessly in any landscape. Wars are not made by simple people, they are made by leaders who rarely stand to face what they have created. Semper Fi !!

  2. Putin will push as hard as he can just to see if his opponents will push back. He’s a hardened KGB dictator through and through.

    • He’ll push, but not sure if he’s a dictator, so much as a strongman. I suspect that if we leave him alone, he’ll retreat to his fortress in Moscow.

    • So what if Putin served in the KGB because George Bush Sr. was a long time CIA man and once headed up the CIA for a period of time and so happen to was elected as the 41st President of the United States. Also how if Putin pushing anything by having Russian air force planes patrol “International Air Space”. The USA does that and by the way if you haven’t noticed that many NATO nations are on Russia’s doorstep, including Germany, so it would be prudent to have patrol ” International Air Space ” to watch possible NATO military movements. Just like NATO nations military jets fly right up to the border of Russian air space. Does Russia get all pissy about it? No because I guess the Russians understand that unless you are flying patrols in to another nations airspace, you’re acting within International law.
      With all the NATO military bases right on Russia’s border you would think they would be flipping out but they are not. I guess they are a bit tougher than their American counterparts when it comes to nerves. On the other hand if Russia suddenly made a announcement that they signed a military alliance treaty with Mexico and built a large military base in North Mexico, the US Govt would be popping their panties about it.
      mrcyberdoc, are you suggesting that the USA should be able to do what ever we want internationally and no one should question it or be upset or worrisome about it but by god nobody else can do the same things we do because we say so? If that is what you are suggesting then you basically support the old British colonialism type international behavior but If memory serves me right, American colonists fought a revolution to kick imperialistic colonialism mentality to the curb back in 1776.

      • Thank you Robert, nice to see someone else sees things as they really are. I love my country but our political system sucks!

    • Do not hesitate word “intercepted” and “international space”? Russian planes can not fly in the international space?

  3. at least the west does not do what Russia has a history of doing,, Shooting down aircraft that trespass on their airspace..

    • Or bombing Countries and removing leaders that they once supported like Osama bin Laden, Sadaam, Ghaddafi, and now Al Qaeda AND ISIS.

      All US creations that the US spent BILLIONS fighting against after they created, armed, funded, trained, and encouraged to be dictators.

      Is that kind of what you were meaning with your response?

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