Dutch fighters intercept three Russian military aircraft near Poland

F-35 fighters from the Royal Netherlands Air Force intercepted a formation of three Russian military aircraft near Poland and escorted them away, the Dutch Defence Ministry said in a statement released late on Monday.

The Dutch planes were part of the Nato Air Policing mission which monitors Central and Eastern Europe airspace.

According to a tweet by the Dutch Defence Minstry, the intercepted aircraft were a Russian IL-20M Coot-A reconnaissance plane and two escorting Su-27 'Flankers.'

Polish media said on Tuesday that the incident took place near the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad in international airspace.

Lieutenant Colonel Guido Schols, the commander of the Netherlands' F-35 detachment which is stationed in Poland, was quoted by the ministry as saying that Polish airspace is protected 24 hours a day seven days a week.

The Il-20M Coot-A is Nato's reporting name for the Russian Ilyushin Il-20M reconnaissance aircraft while the Su-27 Flankers are Nato's reporting name for the Sukhoi Su-28 fighter aircraft.