The alert for the first Alpha Scramble in Baltic skies, within the scope of the enhanced Air Policing 2024 mission, was given by the Uedem Combined Air Operations Center, "when two unidentified aircraft were flying over international waters approaching NATO airspace without flight plan", the Portuguese Air Force said in a statement.

A pair of F-16Ms took off, shortly after activation, from Siauliai Air Base, in Lithuania, having intercepted and identified both aircraft, which proved to be from the Russian Federation.

According to the Air Force, the aircraft "were accompanied by Portuguese fighters to the border of the Baltic states".

"The mission was successfully completed, thus demonstrating the high state of readiness and proficiency of the Portuguese detachment, which has four F-16Ms and a contingent of up to 95 Air Force personnel", highlighted the organization.