Belgian F-16s in Lithuania flew around twenty times …

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The four Belgian F-16s deployed in Lithuania to protect the Baltic airspace have had to take off about twenty times to intercept Russian aircraft approaching NATO airspace over the Baltic Sea. This was learned on Tuesday from a military source.


The Belgian detachment in Lithuania has around fifty men from the bases of Florennes and Kleine-Brogel. The Belgian aircraft have been stationed at the base of Siauliai in Lithuania for eight months since the beginning of September. That duration is unusually long, because according to NATO standards corresponds to two consecutive operations.

For the “Baltic Air Policing” mission, two F-16s are ready day and night to take off in a few minutes. With the mission, NATO countries are responsible for protecting Baltic airspace. The Baltic countries are members of NATO and the EU, but do not have combat aircraft themselves.

Since their arrival in Lithuania, the Belgians have been carrying out around twenty “alpha scrambles” or emergency interventions without incident. In addition, they also performed about 80 “tango scrambles” that are intended as training, according to the commander of the detachment.

In 2020 there were no “alpha scrambles” yet.

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