U.S. Air Force F-22s deploy to Lithuania (as an RC-135W patrols the Baltic Sea)
Two Raptors have arrived at Siauliai Air Base, in Lithuania.
According to the information released by the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius, (two) F-22 stealth fighter jets have deployed to Siauliai Air Base, on Apr. 27.
Supported by a KC-135R (“Quid 177”), the F-22s (MONGL01 and 02) landed at the main NATO BAP (Baltic Air Patrol) airbase in Lithuania.
The aircraft belong to the contingent of 12 Raptors from 95th FS from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, currently deployed to Europe and it’s still not clear how long they will remain there.
On Apr. 25, two F-22s deployed to a Romanian airbase on the Black Sea coast for a quick visit.
— U.S. Embassy Vilnius (@USEmbVilnius) April 27, 2016
Interestingly, as noted by Interfax, the aircraft deployed more or less as an RC-135W from RAF Mildenhall carried out a routine (intelligence gathering) mission over the Baltic Sea using radio callsign “Abilo 71”.
USAF RC-135W 62-4131 ABILO71 just starting to route east for its 11 hour sortie in the Baltic pic.twitter.com/OA9BD9bkMz
— Mil Radar (@MIL_Radar) April 27, 2016
On April 14, a U.S. Air Force RC-135 flying a routine mission (in international airspace) over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 that performed a barrel roll over the American electronic intelligence gathering aircraft.