Turkish fighter jets repeatedly violate Greek airspace near ‘Kataigis’ exercise in NE Aegean

Turkish Air Force planes carried out numerous violations of Greek airspace on Thursday, concentrated in the northeastern Aegean where the Hellenic Navy military exercise “Kataigis” was underway, elements of which were observed by the National Defence ministry political and military leadership.

As on Wednesday, 10 armed Turkish F-16 fighter jets, a Turkish CN-235 naval cooperation plane and a helicopter infringed the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) when they entered without submitting flight plans. Nine Athens FIR infringements became 24 violations of Greek airspace – 14 committed by the CN-235, three by the helicopter and seven by the four formations of Turkish F-16s.

In all cases, the Turkish aircraft were identified and intercepted by Greek Air Force jets while one interception developed into a mock dogfight.

National Defence Minister Panos Kammenos and Hellenic National Defence General Staff chief Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, Hellenic Army General Staff Chief Lieut. General Alkiviadis Stefanis, Hellenic Navy General Staff Chief Rear Admiral Nikolaos Tsounis and Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Ioannis Pavlopoulos were in the area on Thursday, watching the exercise from the northeastern Greek city of Alexandroupolis, and then visited Hellenic Navy ships taking part in the exercise in Samothrace, Agios Efstratios and Limnos.

Rear Admiral Tsounis and Rear Admiral Pavlopoulos then boarded the frigate “Navarino” and observed fleet aeronautical training operations conducted during the exercise.