Dramatic moment NATO fighter jets stalk Putin minister’s plane before being chased off by Russian warplanes
NATO warplanes are chased by Russian jets after getting within touching distance of Putin minister’s plane over the Baltic Sea.
The dramatic scene unfolded during one of NATO’s aerial patrols of the region, which have been stepped up in response to Russia’s perceived military strengthening.
The NATO aircraft (circled) was chased by a Russian fight jet (below). The image was taken from the Russian Minister of Defence’s plane window[/caption]
Shoigu had been on a working trip to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad when the air drama happened[/caption]
The aircraft was carrying Kremlin defence minister Sergei Shoigu back from Moscow when the NATO plane flew alongside, reported TASS news agency.
Shoigu had been on a working trip to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad when the air drama happened.
Two Russian Su-27 fighter jets eventually chased the F-18 away over the Baltic Sea, reported TASS news agency.
The incident was said to be above neutral waters.
Footage taken from inside the defence minister’s plane showed a Spanish Air Force F-18 flying alongside Shoigu’s official aircraft.
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Then it makes a hard left banking manoeuvre as a Su-27 approached from under the airliner.
The F-18 is then seen ascending sharply, pulling away from both planes.
On board 64 year old Shoigu’s plane one voice is heard saying:
“I’ve got its tale number!”
Another says: “It’s going, look at what its doing, wow!”
Shoigu – an army general – is one of Vladimir Putin’s closest political friends and the pair frequently holiday together in the defence minister’s native Tuva region in Siberia.
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In seven years as Defence Minister, he has overseen a major modernisation of the Russian armed forces but has been hit lately by submarine and missile testing accidents both leading to losses of life.
NATO has stepped up its aerial patrols in the Baltic region as a response to Russia’s perceived military strengthening.
The three Baltic states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – all part of the old USSR – feels especially vulnerable to their giant neighbour.
NATOs F-18 warplane (above) and a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet (below), escorting the plane carrying Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea[/caption]
NATO jet next to the Russian Minister of Defence’s plane[/caption]
Russian fight jet by the wing of Russian Minister of Defence’s plane[/caption]