According to the Dutch Ministry of Defense, three Russian military jets were intercepted over Poland by Dutch F-35 fighters.
According to a statement issued by the Dutch Ministry of Defense on February 13, two Dutch F-35 fighter jets intercepted a formation of three Russian military planes above Poland and guided them out of the area.
“The unidentified aircraft then reached the NATO region in Poland from Kaliningrad,” the Dutch defence ministry stated.
Kaliningrad is Russia’s Baltic coastal enclave located between NATO and European Union (EU) members Poland and Lithuania.
“Following identification, it was three Russian IL-20M Coot-A aircraft escorted by two Su-27 Flankers. Dutch F-35s escorted at first, then handed over the mission to NATO partners “The Dutch Ministry of Defense issued a statement.
IL-20M Coot-A is the NATO name for Russia’s Ilyushin IL-20M reconnaissance aircraft.
According to the Dutch Ministry of Defense, eight Dutch F-35s were stationed in Poland in February and March.
The F-35 is available in three variants. The F-35A is the most widely used variant, designed for the US Air Force and its allies. The F-35B can take off and land vertically, whereas the F-35C is in service with the US Navy and Marine Corps.