Belgian Air Force F-16 fighter jet intercepts Russian military aircraft over Baltic

The Belgian Air Force F-16AM “Fighting Falcon” fighter jet has intercepted Russian military aircraft over the Baltic, the service announced.

This is the 14th intercept since the beginning of the NATO enhanced Air Policing Mission (EAPM)  to safeguard the Baltic skies.

Based on the images released by the Belgian Air Force, the intercepted Russian aircraft include Sukhoi Su-24 “Fencer” attack aircraft, Antonov An-26 “Curl”military transport aircraft and an Antonov An-72 “Coaler” STOL transport aircraft.

The Baltic air-policing (BAP) mission is a NATO air defence Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) in order to guard the airspace over the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

For the next two months, the United States and Belgium will conduct the BAP mission, safeguarding the airspace over the region.

The U.S. assumed the lead role of the mission from Poland at Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania on 30 August while Belgium took over supporting role of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission from Spain on Sept. 5 at Ämari Air Base in Estonia.

Belgium Air Force is conducting the mission with F-16A-MLU jets assigned to its 10th and 2nd Tactical Wings, and the U.S. Air Force is conducting the mission with F-15C Eagle jets assigned to its 48th Fighter Wing.

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