The U.S. Air Force Releases New Video Showing F-15 Deployed To Lithuania Intercepting Russian Navy Su-30 Flankers Over The Baltics

Jan 06 2018 - 42 Comments

The 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron deployed from RAF Lakenheath have had some close encounters with the Russian fighters near the Baltics.

The U.S. Air Force will complete its fifth rotation as the lead nation for the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission on Jan. 8, 2018. On Jan. 5, videos documenting their efforts during their four-month deployment were publicly released.

In particular, the videos capture previously unreleased footage of RAF Lakenheath F-15s conducting “safe and standard intercepts of Russian Federation aircraft as part of the NATO peacetime air policing mission.”

Along with footage showing the U.S. Air Force F-15 pilots scramble during an exercise during the Baltic Regional Training Event at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, back in April 2014, the video compilation shows two encounters with the Russian Navy Su-30 Flankers.

The first one occurred on Nov. 23, and was initiated because the Russian aircraft did not broadcast the appropriate codes required by air traffic control and had no flight plan on file. The second one shows two Russian Navy Su-30s intercepted on Dec. 13, 2017. The second intercept was initiated for the same reasons: the Russian aircraft did not broadcast the appropriate codes required by air traffic control and had no flight plan on file.

The video compilation shows tw encounter on November 23 and another on December 13. According to descriptions posted by the military, both incidents involved two Russian fighters in international airspace near the Baltics. In both encounters, the F-15s were scrambled because the Russians did not broadcast the codes required by air traffic control and did not file a flight plan, the Air Force said.

“Intercepts are a regular occurrence, and U.S. Air Force pilots routinely conduct them in a safe and professional manner,” Lt. Col. Cody Blake, commander of the 493rd says in an interview included in the compilation. “Pilots from the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron executed the intercept professionally and operated in international airspace in accordance with all relevant international flight regulations and safety standards.”

The Russian reaction to the video came on Saturday. According to the state-run RT media outlet, the Russian Ministry of Defense acknowledged that NATO F-15 jets had “approached” Su-30 fighter jets in two separate incidents – on November 23 and December 13 – near the Baltics, but said “the route of Russian fighter jets was agreed with the air logistics control units and was carried out in strict compliance with the international rules.” In both instances, F-15 fighters “approached at a safe distance, after which they changed course and flew away,” the statement added.

H/T Lasse Holmstrom for the heads-up

 

  • leroy

    The Russian pilots did the right thing – the wise thing – they behaved themselves. They only act aggressively when intercepting aircraft that can’t fight back. Can’t blow them out of the sky like F-15, F-22 or Typhoon can. They display the worst combination in character – both bully and coward. Those two traits usually run in pairs.

    • Paul

      Rubbish

    • TocTeplv .

      Hardly russians are like that. Americans – sure, but not russians.

      BTW. Russia is a baltic nation. Question is, what are americans doing on russian border? Preparing to invade another country, hmmm?

      • BehindEL

        Protect those small nation’s that want nothing to do with Russia. Ukraine wishes they had thay protection…

      • Lithuania is a NATO member, therefore they are part of the protection NATO provides.

      • Terry Pens

        Sorry russian troll, there are numerous videos proving leroys point, never have i seen russi pilots acting agressive when faced with a F-22 or F-15 armed with missiles.

      • leroy

        The U.S. is a NATO ally. Our forces are there to protect from Russian aggression, which if one looks at the last 1200 years was and is rampant and goes on unabated. Talk to the Ukrainians and Georgians for “clarification”.

        The U.S. and NATO have drawn a red line to Russia’s East. Cross it, intrude on any NATO nation and attempt to subjugate them as you have since 1945, and you will be destroyed. Vladimir knows this and will posture and growl like a pit bull, then hump like a chihuahua.

    • vantguard

      Burp!

    • Terry Pens

      Agreed, when its a survalence aircraft, they try to show off lol

  • juretrn
    • El Kabong

      Who was shooting the video?

      • vantguard

        I guess the other F15…

      • juretrn

        No idea, I’d guess it would be another F-15, right?

  • SnowCatzor

    Nice photos of NATO & Russian aircraft together is literally the only useful thing produced by these Baltic patrols. So at least they’re not a complete waste of time.

  • Burgs

    Unarmed F-15s?

    • Uniform223

      Could have AMRAAMs armed on the fuselage. With that shot from that angle and the EFT, you wouldn’t be able to see them.

  • really?

    The Russian Navy needs to start driving around the Gulf of Mexico, calling it freedom of navigation exercises.

    Can you imagine the outrage. HAHAHA.

    • BehindEL

      As long as they bring their tug boat to tow their carrier when it breaks down they should be fine. The black smoke they burn off will also indicate their position at all times.

      • Black Eagle

        They have far better and effective options than that, for example reopen some of their former military facilities at Cuba and deploy several Iskander missile systems, S-400s and Su-30/35s or even strategic bombers there. It’s guaranteed this would brings Americans the flashbacks of the past back.

    • It is called NATO, and America has an obligation to the NATO allies who are constantly harassed by Russia. Yes, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, are all constantly harassed by Russia.

  • Matt Carruthers

    Sounds like they are on the USS Enterprise……Red Alert! Green star on the F-15 is an air to air kill.

  • Vineyard Sanford

    I thank God that I live in this wonderful country, pray to my God we can forever prevail.

  • Terry Pens

    Some how russian media will claim the flankers won and scared away the F-15s because they can do the pucachevs cobra. You know, juat like they claimed a air to air victory against the F-22 because the su-35s were “behind them” allegedly. The length the russians go to make themselves feel better is downright pathetic.

    • If you go to youtube, you will find some montages made by Russiaboos who claim exactly that!

    • Paul

      Does your bias comment make you feel better?

      • Terry Pens

        How is it biased? Its a claim the russis made, their words not mine troll.

  • steeltiger

    unarmed QRA ?

    • twistedneck

      I thought I saw some AIM 120-C’s on the inner most rail?

    • chris sullivan

      At time 0:35, the port side of the F-15C is visible, with 1x AIM-120 & 1x AIM-9X on underwing stations 2A & 2B clearly shown. The starboard side view as the jets launch is less clear, but at least 1 additional AIM-9X can be seen.
      Of note, the tail number of the jet leaving the hangar does not match either of the 2 jets shown taking off. I would bet a large sum that the alert launch shown was not the same two-ship that filmed the intercept of the Su-27s. Probably three (or more) separate events edited together.

    • El Kabong

      Who said the NATO fighters weren’t armed?

  • pappa gone

    Russia isn’t a Baltic country? until now I herad of Russia is in Baltic zone (Leningrad wasn’t in the Baltic for example?
    Americans are from Baltic? why they don’t bring home their ass? and preserve their evil lives?

    • Leningrad Oblast in the Baltic but the city of Leningrad changed its name decades ago now :) Please rename St. Petersburg

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Were the Russians operating on a schedule? How is it that the press was just sitting off the taxiway with cameras on tripods? Politics aside, those Eagles and Flankers look really nice side by side. It was also nice to read that the Flankers did not violate Baltic airspace like they were in the past. Baltic Air Policing is working.

    • El Kabong

      Do you read the articles?

      “Along with footage showing the U.S. Air Force F-15 pilots scramble during an exercise during the Baltic Regional Training Event at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, back in April 2014…”

  • pshonka i ris

    how absolutely arrogant

    just imagine russian jets were intercepting yours in the gulf of mexico

    • BehindEL

      Russian aircraft regularly skirt US airspace in Alaska and the West Coast…

    • juretrn

      Since the best the 3 Baltic nations have to offer in that role is a couple of L-39s, they get some proper protection from the rest of NATO. So does Slovenia, we get similar patrols coming from Aviano-and get to see some sweet EF2000 ass! A nice benefit to being a part of the alliance!

    • leroy

      Let them. We could care less. We know that Russian military forces operate at our leisure. But if we want to kill them, there can only be one outcome – their total and complete annihilation.

      Russia is a poor, weak regional power that cannot stand up to the naval, air and ground MIGHT of the U.S. alone much less that of the U.S. and NATO. In a word, Russia is militarily and economically worldwide irrelevant. We look towards China with concern., We look at Russia with amusement and disdain.

  • su-34

    Classical yank fake news… if you don’t have it – fake it!
    The logo should display “DANGER – FAKE NEWS!”
    Nowhere in the video, nor it’s description is any mention that it’s a compilation, or that the first part is actually years old scripted media propaganda footage.
    Making a drama (“incident” = an action likely to lead to grave consequences especially in diplomatic matters) from a casual encounter in international airspace is typical yank whining, and double-plus thinking.

    Repeating ad nauseam, Goebbels like *, that “aircraft did not broadcast the appropriate codes required by air traffic control and had no flight plan on file” doesn’t make it true. Regulations do NOT require transponder response, NOR filing a flight path at some self-appointed traffic controller, in INTERNATIONAL AIRSPACE.

    At least the yanks had the occasion to fly their 35 year old rust buckets, while they still can. **

    “Intercepts are a regular occurrence, and U.S. Air Force pilots routinely conduct them in a safe and professional manner,” Lt. Col. Cody Blake, commander of the 493rd says in an interview included in the compilation. “Pilots from the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron executed the intercept professionally and operated in international airspace in accordance with all relevant international flight regulations and safety standards.”
    Maybe you linked the wrong video?
    What I can hear the yank oversized baby blabbering about is something like:
    “the ability to intercept aircraft is important to NATO, really it goes back to the overall objective for the Baltic Air Policing mission, really that objective is to ensure the sovereignty of the airspace for the Baltic countries, what it also does is just prove our commitment to NATO, and our allies, it shows that we’re willing to bring training assets, and resources in order to meet any future security concerns”
    Thankfully he doesn’t started to cry…
    He probably never heard that Russia is also a Baltic Country, as yanks, generally, don’t have the tiniest clue about geography…

    *) “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

    **) Persistent rumors that another Eagle bit the Yemeni desert dust

    • Terry Pens

      Classic russian troll defending his countries transgressions when the truth is clear, sorry russian but the fact remains that russia is a weak regional power that cannot stand up to the US.

  • Black Eagle

    Now that’s some cool footage. No doubt all involved use to enjoy close encounters like this when flying with their opponents side by side and trying to understand them. And while some underage individuals may have need to underestimate one of the sides, those guys flying those beautiful birds would never do that, that’s for sure!

  • Black Eagle

    Similar video can be seen here, it shows armed Russian Su-27SM being scrambled from the Crimean peninsula in night within the excersise Kavkaz-2016.