Posted BY: Bill | NwoReport

A pair of F-35s stationed in northern Europe were dispatched to intercept a trio of Russian warplanes, including two jet fighters, on Monday evening after being detected flying toward NATO airspace with their transponders off.

Three Russian aircraft, an Il-20M intelligence-gathering (‘spy’) plane, and two SU-27 Flankers — a Russian analog to the U.S. F-15 Eagle — were intercepted near the Russian-Polish border on Monday. While they did not enter NATO airspace, they were said to have approached Poland from the Kaliningrad Oblast, a small Russian exclave on the Baltic wedged between Poland and Lithuania with their transponders turned off and also flew in neutral airspace over the Baltic, Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza reports.

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The NATO aircraft that intercepted the pair were Dutch F-35s, attached to the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission based out of Malbork airbase. The Dutch Ministry of Defence said of the interception on Monday evening: “Two Dutch F-35s carried out a first interception from Poland. It concerned 3 aircraft: a Russian IL-20M Coot-A that was escorted by two SU-27 Flankers. F-35s escorted them from a distance and handed over escort to NATO partners.”

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