Watch This: Russian Su-27s Intercept USAF B-52H, German Navy P-3C and RAF Sentinel R1 Over The Baltic

Composite image that includes screenshots of the B-52, P-3C and Sentinel R1 intercepted by the Russian Su-27s on Jun. 15, 2020. (Image credit: Russian MOD/edit The Aviationist).

Interesting footage shows the Flankers escorting NATO aircraft over the Baltic Sea.

On Jun. 15, 2020, two B-52H Stratofortress bombers, belonging to the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, conducted a long-range, long duration strategic Bomber Task Force mission throughout Europe and the Baltic region. During their global reach mission, the BUFFs overflew Tallinn, Estonia; Riga, Latvia; and Vaindloo Island in the Baltic Sea, and, as happened during the most recent trips to Europe carried out by the U.S. bombers (including the B-1s), a B-52 Stratofortress “conducted integration and interoperability training” with local fighter jet: in this case, the RAF Typhoons and French Mirage 2000s assigned to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission.

Interestingly, a BUFF took also part in the 49th iteration of BALTOPS (Baltic Operation) exercise, the premiere maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic region that gathered air and maritime assets from 19 NATO allied and partner nations in live training events that include air defense, anti-submarine warfare, maritime interdiction and mine countermeasure operations.

Supported along the way by KC-135 Stratotankers from the 100th ARW (Air Refueling Wing) from RAF Mildenhall, UK, a B-52 also conducted a low-approach over the USS Mount Whitney, the flagship and command ship of the United States Sixth Fleet in support of the BALTOPS exercise.

“Long-range strategic bomber missions to the Baltic region are a visible demonstration of our capability to extend deterrence globally,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander in a public statement. “Our participation in BALTOPS also provides an opportunity for us to strengthen relationships with our NATO allies and partners while operating in the air and sea domains.”

The B-52 mission (including the support tankers) to the Baltic area could be tracked online.

Noteworthy, the B-52 also flew (in international airspace) off Kaliningrad Oblast, from where Russian Baltic Sea Fleet’s Su-27 fighters were scrambled to perform a VID (Visual Identification) of the bombers. The Russian MOD later released a video of the intercept that shows, along with the B-52H, also a German Navy P-3C Orion and a RAF Sentinel R1 ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft (most probably ZJ691 that was tracked in the area).

Nothing special: just routine intercept as those carried out by both sides since the Cold War (as explained here and here).



About David Cenciotti 4174 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.