In the morning of May 11, the Spanish Air Force Eurofighter detachment deployed at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, leading NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission, executed their first intercept after an alert launch since they arrive in early May. The Spanish Air Force took over the lead of NATO’s Air Policing in the Baltic region on May 1. With the detachment’s first alert scramble the Spanish team demonstrated their readiness underscoring the Alliance’s vigilance across the airspace above of all NATO allies.
The Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany, ordered the Eurofighters to take off and identify an aircraft track flying in the Baltic Sea from mainland Russia to the Kaliningrad exclave. The Spanish NATO aircraft approached and identified a Russian An-72 transport aircraft. Flying over international waters close to the Lithuanian coast the Russian plane was not on a flight plan and not sending a transponder signal causing a potential risk to other airspace users. Upon completing the identification, the Spanish fighter aircraft returned to Siauliai Air Base.