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

 

About David Cenciotti 4428 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.

5 Comments

  1. Yes indeed, it is their job to provide security in terms of air space. And yes they are defending, but when you say “defending the free world” i dont see the need for Dutch f-16s to defend the world against Putin, if thats what you are trying to say.

  2. I presume flying in international airspace with no FPL is the reason why so many Russian planes have to be escorted. Why is this the case? do they feel they don’t have to because they are military planes. does this put civil airliners in jeopardy? Just trying to understand why this makes news.

  3. Those sneaky Russians flying in international airspace. Russia should ask for permission in future if they wish to fly such routes. Looks like DEF CON 2 already.

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