● Spanish F-18’s have intercepted half a dozen Russian aircrafts in Allied airspace so far
The F-18’s of the 'Vilkas' detachment (wolf in Lithuanian) belonging to the 15th Wing of the Spanish Air Force have completed a month within NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP). During this time they have carried out about half a dozen actual interceptions, according to the Alliance.
When an unauthorised aircraft is detected attempting to enter Baltic countries' airspace, the Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem, Germany, issues an immediate interception order for jet fighters to take-off . This sort of take-off is usually known as 'scramble'.
The footages released by NATO show that at least two Sukhoi fighter planes, one Antonov tactical transport plane and one Tupolev transport plane were intercepted in these scrambles.
The Spanish Air Force Fighting Wings have taken part in this airspace surveillance mission in the Baltic countries since 2006.
This year Spain will lead the mission until August 31st from Sialuai Air Base (Lithuania). The Spanish F-18’s share the compound with British Air Force (RAF) Eurofighters. In addition, Mirage 2000 from the French Air Force are also taking part in the BAP mission from Estonia.