German Typhoon jets have intercepted two Russian fighter jets, the German Air Force has confirmed.
Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers invaded Ukraine amid fears an invasion could spill into Baltic states.
The Luftwaffe has now confirmed on its Twitter account that German planes have intercepted two Su-30SM and iL-20 aircraft.
The supersonic jet is not nuclear-capable and is often sent on probing missions to test NATO countries in the Baltic sea.
Luftwaffe Typhoons from German bases were launched against unidentified aircraft approaching the Baltic Sea area of interest.
The German Air Force fighter jets were scrambled earlier today to respond to two Russian Su-30SM fighter jets approaching the area of interest.
In a statement, the Luftwaffe said: ” Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) was alarmed twice in the last few days by NATO. Several Russian aircraft of the type IL-20 and SU-30 could be identified, flying towards Kaliningrad in international airspace.”
The Russian fighter jets did not enter Polish airspace.
The Russian Ministry of Defence said on Saturday that its aircraft, of the same type as were intercepted on Saturday, had conducted a patrol over Belarusian airspace.
News of the military tensions comes as Russia invaded its neighbour Ukraine killing thousands of civilian and committing war crimes.
Previously, Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter jets had to be scrambled in two emergencies over the weekend as Russian planes were spotted heading towards NATO airspace.
Typhoon fighters from Ämari Air Base in Estonia took off in response to Quick Reaction Alerts (QRA) after the sightings of the aircraft were received on Friday and Saturday.
This brings the RAF’s total number of intercepts of Russian aircraft to eight since taking over the Baltic Air Policing mission this year.
Air traffic controllers could only establish radio contact with one aircraft, while two were now flying in radio silence among commercial air traffic through Estonia’s flight information region.
NATO command gave the order to intercept, and the RAF Typhoons roared down the runway for their first operational task since arriving. They banked a sharp left seconds after the wheels left the ground, then flew northwest over the forests of Estonia before chasing down the unidentified aircraft above the Baltic Sea.
In September, Poland began receiving equipment for its first two US Patriot battery systems, which are set to become operational in late 2023. The Raytheon-made surface-to-air Patriots can shoot down attacking missiles but also have high-tech sensors that help in identifying what’s in the air.
Germany’s announcement that it has offered its own Patriot missiles to Poland is the latest in that shifting of NATO resources, primarily towards its Russia-facing eastern flank.
“Poland is our friend, ally and, as a neighbor of Ukraine, especially exposed,” German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said on 21 November 2022, following a call with her Polish counterpart.
Poland’s first Patriot procurement was reported to have cost $4.75 billion — more than one-quarter of the country’s proposed 2023 defense budget. A single interceptor test, according to RAND, a US-based defense research group, can cost up to $100 million.
The risks of potentially catastrophic spillover of the Russia-Ukraine war remain all too real, Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo tells the Security Council.
The war in Ukraine has a much more significant impact on neighbouring Baltic countries due to the influx of refugees and their heavy dependence on Russian gas. The Baltic countries are ramping up arms procurement amid tensions with Russia.
The Ukraine war would force Europe to increase defense spending. Some member states, such as Germany, have already taken important new measures in this area, with €100 billion in additional defense spending in 2022 and an increase of the defense budget to above 2 % of GDP from 2024.
Poland recently signed $15 billion contract to buy FA-50 fighters, K-9 Thunder howitzers, Chunmoo MLRS and K-2 tanks from South Korea.
Again, these are always painful decisions in the context of high public debt, the influx of refugees to Baltic states and scarce public resources. Still, Vladimir Putin leaves Europe no choice.
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