DND News

Bagotville Hornets intercept Flanker

Two Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-18 Hornet fighter jets from Operation Reassurance’s Air Task Force Romania intercepted a Russian SU-27 Flanker operating near Romanian airspace over the Black Sea on September 23, 2020.

Operation Reassurance CF18 in Romania
Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet takes off at Mihail Kogӑlniceanu Air Base, Romania. (Photo: S1 Zach Barr, Canadian Armed Forces photo)

The CF-18s were scrambled by NATO’s southern Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejon, Spain after the Russian aircraft was detected by the Romanian Air Force’s Control and Reporting Centre. The Canadian fighter pilots carefully monitored the Russian aircraft until it left the Romanian flight information region.

This intercept was the first for the Air Task Force which started its mission earlier this month following a NATO certification ceremony on September 3, 2020.

The Canadian Air Task Force is working with the Romanian Air Force as part of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission, Canada’s contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures. During the mission, Canadian fighter pilots hold quick reaction alert and fly training missions together with the Romanian Air Force, as well as other regional allies, to augment Romanian air policing capabilities. This includes patrolling Romanian air space and, if necessary, intercepting any aircraft that enter it without authorization. 

Operation REASSURANCE demonstrates Canada’s ability and willingness to react rapidly to international crises and to work side by side with its NATO Allies to reinforce NATO’s collective security. Air Task Force – Romania is the Air component of the mission.

While conducting their mission, the Air Task Force members are taking all the necessary precautions to minimize the risk to the safety of our personnel and the local population. Despite the limitations of operating in a COVID-19 environment, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have remained agile and able to conduct successful missions around the world, all while adhering to both domestic and host nation COVID-19 safety requirements.