The U.S. Air Force has released footage of F-15 fighter jets flying out of a British airbase intercepting Russian warplanes on two separate occasions late last year.
The video, released Friday, shows two recent instances in which F-15s deployed to Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, intercepted Russian navy Su-30 Flankers near the Baltics.
The compilation shows an encounter on Nov. 23, followed by a second encounter on Dec. 13. According to military officials, both incidents involved Russian fighter jets operating in international airspace near the Baltics.
In both encounters, F-15 warplanes were scrambled because Russian pilots refused to broadcast codes required by air traffic controllers or file flight plans, the Air Force noted.
The F-15s were from the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, which belongs to the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, and were participating in the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa said. Airmen, pilots, and fighters were deployed to the Lithuanian base for about four months.
“Intercepts are a regular occurrence, and U.S. Air Force pilots routinely conduct them in a safe and professional manner,” the Air Force said. “Pilots from the 493rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron executed the intercept professionally and operated in international airspace in accordance with all relevant international flight regulations and safety standards.” [source]
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