The Russian Il-76 aircraft was intercepted by Hungarian Gripen fighters, which have been participating in the NATO airspace patrolling mission in the Baltic states since the beginning of August, said Hungarian Defense Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky on Thursday.
On Thursday morning, Hungarian planes stationed at the base in Šiauliai in the north Lithuania were alerted by an unidentified plane. In the course of the operation, the Gripens intercepted and identified the Russian Il-76 transport plane flying over the southern Baltic Sea.
“The Hungarian Air Force has once again confirmed its readiness,” added Defense Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky.
As he informed, it was the first such alarm as part of the Baltic Air Policing in 2022.
Hungarian fighters over the Baltic Sea
From August 1, four Hungarian Gripen fighters, which are stationed at the base in Šiauliai, have been conducting patrols together with aviation from CzechGermany and Italian.
Main photo source: Senior Master Sgt. Beth Holliker / DVIDS