The four Portuguese F-16 fighters on a policing mission in the Baltic States have already intercepted 20 Russian aircraft of various types, "including transport aircraft, fighters and intelligence gathering aircraft", according to the Air Force.

The entity stressed that, within the scope of the 'Baltic Air Policing' mission, the Portuguese aircraft were activated "on ten occasions to intercept military aircraft in transit in the international airspace off the coast of the Baltic States", and, "in these missions, Approximately 20 Russian aircraft of various types were intercepted and identified, including transport aircraft, fighter jets and intelligence gathering aircraft".

In a statement, the organization noted that "these interception procedures are initiated to preserve the integrity of Baltic airspace", further clarifying that "the fighters are activated whenever an aircraft flying over international airspace close to NATO borders does not respect the air traffic rules", including "the presentation of the route you intend to run, the establishment of communications with the air traffic control entities and/or the sending of a transponder signal".

The Air Force also recalled that, on April 1, Portugal took over the policing of the Baltic airspace as a Responsible Nation (Lead Nation), for a period of four months, in a mission that involves approximately 85 military personnel and four aircraft.