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RAF Collaborates with German Air Force to Thwart Russian Fighter Jets and Spy Aircraft in Baltic Sea Region

The Royal Air Force reported that last Friday, the British and German Air Forces provided support to three Russian military planes over the Baltic Sea. As part of Operation Azotize, Eurofighter Typhoons from the German Air Force’s 71 ‘Richtofen’ Wing and RAF’s IX (B) Squadron were deployed to intercept and visually verify several unknown planes flying near the NATO border.

The two forces are presently collaborating to safeguard NATO’s eastern flank. One of the planes was discovered to be a Russian Air Force intelligence aircraft, the IL-20 Coot-A, traveling from mainland Russia to the Kaliningrad region. Two Russian SU-27 Flanker-B fighter planes from Kaliningrad escorted the Coot-A south through the north-western part of the Estonian flight information region.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has frequently stated that their planes abide by global airspace usage protocols over neutral waters. The department stressed that they do not cross flight paths and ensure that no hazardous encounters take place with aircraft from other nations. Meanwhile, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl stated on Monday that the United States is making every effort to maintain Ukraine’s Soviet-era air defense systems and keep Kyiv in the conflict until Western systems arrive in the nation.

“We’re doing everything possible to make sure that Ukraine’s Soviet legacy air defense systems remain viable and that Western systems arrive so that Ukraine can stay in the fight, and I’m sure that we and our allies will be able to do so,” Kahl mentioned during a virtual discussion hosted by Foreign Policy. During the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base this week, air defense systems will be a top priority with more than 50 nations taking part, Kahl stated.

As the conflict in Ukraine moved to the eastern section of the country, the United States transitioned from Soviet-era to NATO-standard artillery systems, with 155mm howitzers and HIMARS systems receiving a lot of attention, according to Kahl. Last week, The Washington Post reported that Ukraine’s anticipated spring counteroffensive was postponed due to weather, sluggish equipment supply, and ammunition scarcity.

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