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German fighter jets intercept a Russian Il-20 aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea

German fighter jets were deployed to intercept a Russian Il-20 electronic reconnaissance aircraft over the Baltic Sea after it was detected flying without a transponder, according to a statement from the German Air Force dated April 6, 2024. The German Eurofighter jets were compelled to take off from the Lielvārda base in Latvia to conduct this interception.

This incident is not the first of its kind involving Russian military aircraft since the beginning of 2024. On March 1, German Air Force fighters intercepted Russian Il-20 and Il-76 military aircraft near Latvian territorial waters. The day before, French Mirage 2000-5 aircraft intercepted two Russian Su-30M fighters and an An-72 transport plane over the Baltic Sea.

“Our European fighter jets from VAPB took off from Lielvārde today on a defensive mission to intercept a Russian Il-20 over the Baltic Sea, which was flying without a transponder,” the statement reads.

The Il-20 is a Russian electronic reconnaissance aircraft used to gather intelligence on communications and electronic signals. It is based on the platform of the Il-18 military transport aircraft and is equipped with sophisticated surveillance equipment. It has a maximum speed of 356 knots and a maximum range of 3,540 kilometers. Its dimensions include a wingspan of 37.42 meters a length of 35.90 meters, and a height of 10.17 meters. It can reach a maximum take-off weight of 64,000 kg (approximately 141,096 pounds).

The Il-20 is powered by four Ivchyenko AI-20M turboprop engines, each producing 3169 equivalent kilowatts (approximately 4,250 horsepower). It is important to note that this aircraft is not armed, focusing instead on its mission of electronic intelligence gathering.

The Eurofighter is a fourth-generation multi-role fighter aircraft developed in Europe. It comes in several versions, including the C-16 (single-seat) and CE-16 (two-seat), with an export version named Typhoon. It is in service with the Austrian, German, Italian, Spanish, and British Air Forces. With impressive performance capabilities, it can reach a maximum speed of Mach 2.00.

Technical data indicates that the Eurofighter has a wingspan of 10.95 meters, a length of 15.96 meters, and a height of 5.28 meters. It is powered by two Eurojet EJ 200 afterburning turbofans, each producing a thrust of 90 kN. In terms of performance, it can take off within 300 meters with a maximum takeoff weight of 21,000 kg. It has an operational ceiling of 55,000 feet and is capable of covering considerable distances while offering excellent maneuverability in flight.

Source: Army Recognition

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