Dutch F-35 and Polish MiG-29 fighters have trained together over Poland as part of NATO’s Air Policing mission in the Baltic Region.
Dutch F-35 Lightning II and Polish MiG-29 Fulcrum pilots showed off their flying skills during a demonstration over the Baltic Sea on 21 March 2023.
Directed by NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) in Uedem, Germany, the fighters scrambled to intercept a Polish Air Force CASA C-295M transport aircraft. They performed a training interception, flying in tight formation as they shadowed the CASA C-295M transport aircraft. Along the way, French Air and Space Force Rafale fighters joined in, flying from Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania, where they are currently assigned to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission. Polish Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons also joined the sortie, demonstrating NATO’s ability to control fighter aircraft from different nations during an interception.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force deployed a detachment of F-35s to Malbork Air Base in Poland on 30 January 2023 as part of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission. From there, the Dutch pilots trained extensively with their NATO Allies while remaining on alert for Air Policing scrambles. Since their deployment, they have scrambled four times to intercept Russian military aircraft passing close to NATO airspace over the Baltic Sea. Allied aircraft routinely scramble to intercept aircraft that fail to communicate with air traffic controllers or broadcast a transponder code.
This NATO Multimedia footage, released 22nd March, includes shots of Allied jets taxiing, taking off and performing a training interception, as well as interviews with Polish Air Force Brigadier General Ireneusz Nowak and a Royal Netherlands Air Force pilot.