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CF-188 Hornets intercepted and escorted a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker operating near Romanian airspace over the Black Sea last week.
The green-tinted night-vision camera images were released on Facebook and Twitter on Oct. 19 by Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC).
The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Hornets are in Romania as part of the NATO enhanced air policing and were scrambled by NATO’s southern Combined Air Operations Centre in Torrejon, Spain, after the Su-27 was detected entering the edge of the Romanian Flight Information Region by the Control and Reporting Centre of the Romanian Air Force.
“The Russian aircraft was closely monitored by our Hornets before it left the Romanian flight information region. Bravo Zulu to all involved,” the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Operations Facebook post stated.
The two Hornets are part of a five-pack of CF-188s based in Constanta, Romania, for a four-month deployment from September to December to augment Romanian Air Force air policing capabilities and support NATO’s deterrence mission in Eastern Europe.
The Air Task Force, comprised of about 135 personnel from 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron at 3 Wing Bagotville, Que., and members of 2 Air Expeditionary Squadron, is under the command of LCol Timothy Wood. The fighter jets arrived in theatre in late August and will depart in early January.
This is the third time Canada has deployed to Romania since NATO began conducting assurance and deterrence measures in 2014 in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Air task forces arrived at the 71st Air Base in Campia Turzii in 2014 and in Constanta in 2017. Both missions have also involved bilateral training and interoperability exercises.
Royal Canadian Air Force Hornets have also led NATO Baltic air policing missions over Lithuania in 2014 and more recently over Iceland in the spring of 2017.
The air policing missions are carried out under the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System and requires jets to launch within minutes of an aircraft entering or nearing NATO’s area of functional responsibility that is not responding to air traffic control.