Dutch F-35s intercept Russian formation over Poland

THE HAGUE – The Dutch armed forces intercepted three Russian military aircraft in Poland. The planes flew in formation. Two Dutch F-35s have sought them out, identified them and escorted them, the Ministry of Defense reports.

A Dutch F-35 fighter plane.


According to the Ministry of Defence, the Russian aircraft were an Il-20M (also known as Coot-A) and two SOe-27s (Flankers). The Coot-A was designed as a spy plane, the Flankers are more modern fighter jets. They are said to have flown from Kaliningrad to Poland and have been ‘on the border’. The Dutch aircraft escorted them ‘from a distance’ and after some time transferred them to another NATO country. According to the Ministry of Defense, they have never flown over Russia.

There are eight Dutch F-35s in Poland since this month, four of which are deployed to monitor the airspace above the NATO country. According to the Ministry of Defense, the other four are for training purposes, although they can also be used if necessary. According to the armed forces, this is the first time that Dutch aircraft have carried out such an interception (a so-called Quick Reaction Alert) during the two-month mission.



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