Nov 8, 2014

NATO F-16 Jets Intercept Russian IL-20 Spy Plane, Latvia Says

NATO F-16s based in the Baltic region intercepted a Russian IL-20 surveillance plane, Latvia’s army said today. The encounter took place near Latvia’s territorial waters, it said. Ukraine’s military said Russia’s airforce had put some of its units on high alert.
The increased activity coincides with wrangling between Russia, the U.S. and the European Union over the future of Ukraine, where a September cease-fire is wobbling. NATO tracked Russian military planes that included fighter jets, long-range bombers and tankers over the Baltic region, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean for three days in late October.
Russian Air Force command put units of military transport planes near the Moscow and Ryazan regions on high alert, Ukrainian military spokesman told reporters today in Kiev. IL-76 transport planes may be used to bring troops and equipment to Ukraine’s border, he said.
NATO says interceptions in 2014 have now reached 100, three times last year’s total. The alliance pledged in September to bolster the defenses of frontline states in eastern Europe in response to Russian actions in Ukraine.

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