Italian jets intercepting hostile planes, says minister

(AGI) Rome, March 19 - Italian Eurofighter Typhoon aircraftpatrolling the Baltic have intercepted hostile planesapproaching the airspace of NATO countries 10 times in thefirst two months of this year, said Italy's Defence MinisterRoberta Pinotti. During a debate on the crisis in Ukraine at ahearing before parliament's foreign affairs and defencecommissions, she said: "On another 27 occasions our planes tookoff after the activation of the air defence chain but no realinterceptions were carried out. The four aircraft are usedintensively, accumulating more than 150 flight hours in thefirst two months. Spanish, Polish

(AGI) Rome, March 19 - Italian Eurofighter Typhoon aircraftpatrolling the Baltic have intercepted hostile planesapproaching the airspace of NATO countries 10 times in thefirst two months of this year, said Italy's Defence MinisterRoberta Pinotti. During a debate on the crisis in Ukraine at ahearing before parliament's foreign affairs and defencecommissions, she said: "On another 27 occasions our planes tookoff after the activation of the air defence chain but no realinterceptions were carried out. The four aircraft are usedintensively, accumulating more than 150 flight hours in thefirst two months. Spanish, Polish and Belgian aircraft are alsoactive in the area. Our local partners have asked us to extendour participation in this operation and we have decided to doso for another four months, until the end of August. Dutch andBritish aircraft will also be policing the area in thisperiod.". (AGI).