on 27 April, Belgian Air Force reported that it had intercepted a Russian A-50 AWACS and AN-26 transport plane over the coast of Estonia after it failed to comply with international flight regulations.
The interception of the A-50 Mainstay flying off the Estonian coast took place on Saturday the 25th and An-26 military transport aircraft on Tuesday 27th.
Russian planes were intercepted by Belgian Air Force F-16 fighters s and escorted accordingly.
NATO regularly intercepts Russian planes that do not maintain radio contact on their flights between the exclave of Kaliningrad, wedged between Poland and Lithuania, and the Russian mainland.
In a tweet, the air force confirmed that it had scrambled F-16A/B fighter aircraft to intercept and escort the Russian aircraft as part of the Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission.
Russia operates 20 A-50s which have been produced by Beriev Aircraft since 1980. It has a maximum range of 5,000km and a MTOW of 170t. The only other know operator of the A-50 is India, which has received 3 aircraft.
Belgium currently leads NATO’s BAP mission but is soon due to hand over its leadership role to the Spanish Air Force.