New Video Shows Close Encounter Between NATO F-16 And Su-27 Flanker Escorting Russian Defense Minister Plane Over The Baltic

Exciting moments over the Baltic Sea as a Polish F-16 shadows a Russian VIP plane sparking the reaction by an escorting Su-27 Flanker.

Zvezda has just released some interesting footage allegedly showing a NATO F-16 approaching Russian Defense Ministry Sergei Shoigu’s plane while flying over the Baltic Sea.

According to the first reports and analysis of the footage, the F-16 (most probably a Polish Air Force Block 52+ aircraft supporting the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission from Lithuania – hence, armed) shadowed the Tu-154 aircraft (most probably the aircraft with registration RA-85686) carrying the defense minister en route to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad when one armed Russian Su-27 Flanker escorting Shoigu’s plane maneuvered towards the NATO aircraft, forcing it to move farther.

Some minutes later, the F-16 left the area, according to the reports.

Similar close encounters occur quite frequently in the Baltic region.

We have published many articles in the past about Russian aircraft coming quite close to both NATO fighters in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duty and U.S. spyplanes: indeed, the latest incident comes a day after the Russian defense ministry said an RC-135 U.S. reconnaissance plane had aggressively and dangerously maneuvered in the proximity of a Russian fighter jet over the Baltic. The ministry said at the same time that another RC-135 had been intercepted by a Russian jet in the same area.

Business as usual….

H/T Lasse Holm for sending this over to us.




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. Chillout, Leroy doesn’t even seem to be an actual person (or at least one person). Check ‘his’ disqus profile, over 8000 posts and all ultra-rightwing pro-US crap. Could be some for profit troll outfit or the like. I’m not against the States per se, – just don’t think such idiots should be representing any country online.

  2. LOL, WRONG ! f16 actually did ‘run’ – increased distance from tupolev and left the scene: “Some minutes later, the F-16 left the area”. US education system does not guarantee reading skills, or you just THAT special ? :DDD

  3. Big time fail for you, if you’re not able to see how he started slowly moving away when the Flanker came on the scene!

  4. That looked like a reasonably tame encounter. F-16 at about 50m to start, then the Flanker moves up and the F-16 backs off to about 75m. All the while the F-16 is at a dissimilar altitude. A bit close on vertical separation, but not anywhere close to some of the antics displayed by the Russians recently.

  5. Reminds me of the 1943 story about Admiral Yamamoto. Maybe next time Sergey. Maybe next time …

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