British Typhoon fighter jets intercept five Russian military aircraft

8 August 2019 (Last Updated August 8th, 2019 10:18)

The UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) has twice scrambled Typhoon fighter jets to intercept five Russian military aircraft in a span of two days.

British Typhoon fighter jets intercept five Russian military aircraft
RAF Typhoon fighter jet seen here with Russian Antonov AN-26 “Curl” transport aircraft. Credit: Royal Air Force. UK Crown Copyright

The UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) has twice scrambled Typhoon fighter jets to intercept five Russian military aircraft in a span of two days.

On 05 August, the RAF Typhoons intercepted four Russian aircraft including an Antonov AN-26 “Curl” transport aircraft, a TU-142 “Bear” Bomber and two SU-27B “Flanker” fighters.

The British aircraft were launched again on 06 August to intercept a Russian Tupolev TU-134 “Crusty” transport aircraft flying near Estonian airspace.

The Typhoons took off from the Ämari Air Base in Estonia where they are deployed in support of Nato’s Baltic Air Policing mission.

A XI (Fighter) Squadron Typhoon pilot said: “We were scrambled to intercept a Russian AN-26 aircraft routing west close to Estonian airspace. Once complete with this task, a second task was initiated to intercept a group of contacts operating to the south close to Lithuanian airspace.

“These aircraft transiting the Baltic region were not on a recognised flight plan or communicating with Air Traffic Control. In the end, the intercept was uneventful and conducted in a professional manner throughout.”

The Typhoon fighter jets escorted the Russian aircraft as part of a routine NATO mission.

Since taking charge of the Baltic Air Policing in May this year, the RAF has carried out 16 Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) scrambles.

The RAF is deployed in Estonia as part of the UK’s commitment to the security of the region.

The latest intercept mission comes after the service sent Typhoons to intercept a Russian IL-76 military transport aircraft on 28 July.