Russian Su-27 'escorts' German Orion over Baltic Sea
A Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter escorted a German spy aircraft over the Baltic sea after the latter attempted to breach Russian borders.
A Russian Su-27 fighter jet was scrambled to escort German reconnaissance aircraft Orion over the Baltic Sea after it was caught trying to approach the Russian border, the Russian Defense Ministry's National Defense Control Center (NDCC) said on Monday.
Russian airspace control detected on Monday an air target approaching the Russian border over the Baltic Sea, the NDCC said.
An Su-27 was scrambled from the air defense forces of the Baltic Fleet to identify the German aircraft and prevent the breach.
"The crew of the Russian fighter identified the air target as the R-3C Orion base patrol aircraft of the German Navy and escorted it over the Baltic Sea," the NDCC explained.
"After the foreign military aircraft turned away from the Russian state border, the Russian fighter returned to the home airfield. The breach of the Russian state border was not allowed," the center said.
The Russian fighter carried out its flight in strict accordance with international rules for the use of airspace over neutral waters without crossing air routes or dangerously approaching a foreign aircraft.
This comes amid heightened tensions between Russia and Germany, especially in light of the phase-out of Russian gas to Germany and the arms shipments from Berlin to Kiev amid the ongoing Ukraine war.
Germany, on top of all the lethal arms it sent Ukraine, announced recently that it was sending Marder IFVs to the country.
Additionally, Germany discussed with Greece the progress in Greek deliveries of BMP-1 armored infantry vehicles to Ukraine, and the vehicles getting replaced with the German Marder infantry fighting vehicles.
Athens and Berlin agreed that Athens would receive an equal number of the Marder IFVs instead of the East-Germany-made BMP-1 IFVs sent to Ukraine, which Greece had received back in 1994.
Moreover, the pressure on the German government to deliver Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine has recently increased. On Wednesday, Poland announced that it agreed to hand over Leopard II battle tanks to Kiev to be used in the battle against Russia. Other countries are now following suit, including Finland.
The German army has already given up most of its Leopard tanks of older designs and exported them to Turkey, Greece, and Denmark, among other clients. The army still possesses around 300 modern versions but they have no plans of selling them. The army reportedly refused to provide additional details on the strengths, and equipment of associations, or units.
German Defense firm Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger said Sunday that the delivery of Leopard battle tanks will take time to reach Ukraine due to maintenance work. "Even if the decision is made tomorrow for us to send our Leopard tanks to Kiev, the delivery itself will have to take at least until the beginning of next year," he told German media.
Rheinmetall currently owns 22 Leopard 2 tanks and 88 copies of the older Leopard 1 model, according to the report, citing Papperger. He said that the repair of decommissioned battle tanks would take "almost a year" since "the tanks are not only repainted but have to be revamped for war purposes. They are completely dismantled and then rebuilt."