Here are the Russian planes (including a rare special mission aircraft) intercepted by the Belgian F-16s over the Baltics

An-12PPS special mission aircraft among those met by the Belgian Air Force “Vipers” during their BAP (Baltic Air Patrol) rotation.

The images in this post were taken by the Belgian Air Force during their latest rotation of support to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission.

F-16 vs Su-27

Flying out of Amari Air Base, Estonia, the Belgian F-16 jets augmented the Lead Nation Spain’s Eurofighter Typhoon jets from January to April 2016.

BAF in BAP 3

BAF in BAP 2

The aircraft were often launched to intercept and escort Russian planes flying over the Baltics. Among them, Su-27 Flanker, Tu-134AK, Il-76, An-72 and also an An-12PPS.

Il-76 + F-16

The An-12PPS “Cub-D” is a jamming variant of the Antonov medium military transport.

According to “Russia’s Warplanes, Volume 1” by Piotr Butowski published by Harpia Publishing, one of the most authoritative sources on Russian-made military aircraft and helicopters today and set to become the standard reference work on the subject, the Russian Air Force operates several standoff ECM aircraft based on the standard An-12 airframe. Their task is to provide jamming cover to formation of transport aircraft carrying airborne troops by disguising the heading and composition of the formation during assault missions behind the front line.

Actually, the RF-90787 “19 Red” depicted in the photos taken by the BAF pilots lacks the most interesting equipment carried by the few An-12PPS aircraft: the Siren-D active jammer, usually mounted in four cigar-shaped pods, two under the forward fuselage and one on each side of the tailfin base. Still, it features another Cub-D’s distinctive feature: the SPS-100 Rezeda self-protection jammer built into the aircraft’s tail in lieu of the tail gunner’s turret.

Indeed, the aircraft is actually a former An-12PPS that was converted to the transport role back in 2001. Still, it’s a pretty rare bird!

BAF in BAP

According to “Russia’s Warplanes, Volume 1” only a few such aircraft are currently in Russian Air Force service at Orenburg and Akhtubinsk.

An-12PPS with F-16

Image credit: BAF

 

About David Cenciotti 4470 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 five books and contributed to many more ones.

4 Comments

  1. Those who can read a map know that these intercepts happen outside the baltic states in international airspace, the only route russian aircraft can fly from and to Kaliningrad.
    Same harassment as the flights endured from and to west berlin.
    Su-27 sports patrol/escort config, 2 short range AAM and 2 mid range AAM, no fuel tank – su-27 has great range. 689 Gv IAP (Su-27s) & 288 OVP based at Nivenskoye moved to Chkalovsk during August 2002.

  2. Is the first picture coming from the intercept? If so, why this Su-27 is deploying its aerial break? It seems a counter-intercept by the Russian escort. i.e. the F-16s intercepted the slow flying part of the formation to be intercepted by the escorting Su-27s… or looking at the AoA of these planes (both NATO and Russians) are they trying to slow the thing down to see who’s bugging out first?

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