On April 20, two Swedish Air Force Saab JAS 39 Gripens and two Danish Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons followed a Russian military aircraft of the Ilyushin Il-20 Coot-A Elint reconnaissance aircraft in the airspace over the Baltic Sea. It is the first time that a synchronized effort has been carried out in this way. During the entire operation, the Swedish and Danish aircraft remained under their own national control. The armed forces build security together with others.
“This synchronized effort is proof of our close and good cooperation with the Danish air force. Together, we take responsibility for securing the airspace over the Baltic Sea through our respective incident preparedness units. We see Russian military aircraft patrolling the Baltic Sea at regular intervals, so sending up our Swedish incident report is a routine mission for us.” “It is part of our active defense,” says Deputy Air Force Chief Tommy Petersson.
The Swedish and Danish Air Forces have worked together for many years and have come a long way in their cooperation; this is shown by today’s pre-planned effort. It was shortly after 13:00 on Thursday that the Swedish and Danish warplanes encountered the Russian military aircraft, which was heading west, in the area between Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, and Bornholm. After following the Russian aircraft’s route for some time, the aircraft returned to their respective home bases.