Canadian jets were scrambled to intercept Russian military aircraft over the Black Sea, NATO said Friday.
Canada deployed aircraft at the Mihail Kogalniceanu base near Constanta at the beginning of September.
The CF-188 Hornet fighter jets joined Romanian Air Force jets to intercept two Russian Su-24 Fencers operating near Romanian airspace over the Black Sea.
Thursday’s mission was their first intercept as part of their enhanced Air policing mission
The jets were scrambled by NATO’s southern Combined Air Operations Center Torrejon, after the Russian aircraft was detected by the Romanian Air Force’s Control and Reporting Centre.
The Russian aircraft were ignoring international flight safety rules by not using a transponder and not talking to air traffic control.
The Russian military jets were monitored by the Allied pilots once they had confirmed a visual identification.
“With an all out effort supporting flying operations day and night, this first visual ID is a great example of how Canada is helping NATO and Romania protect the integrity of NATO’s airspace,” a statement said.
„I am very proud of the entire Air Task Force- Romania team in providing world-class military skills, ideally suited for the execution of our enhanced Air Policing mission,” said Lt Colonel Corey Mask, Canadian Air Task Force Commander.
During their deployment, Canadian crews will hold quick reaction alert and fly training missions together with the Romanian Air Force, as well as other regional allies.
NATO allies have been carrying out an air policing mission over the Black Sea on a rolling basis since 2017.
Romania is equipped with MiG -21LanceR and the American built F-16 aircraft.