The British Royal Air Force ’s (RAF) Quick Reaction Alert Force based at the RAF Coningsby air station has carried out a total of 13 scrambles since the beginning of 2016.
Scrambles were conducted either to respond to the presence of Russian military aircraft flying through international airspace or a possible airborne terrorist threat.
Last month, the RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets were deployed by the service to scramble on four occasions in response to Russian aircraft posing a risk to civilian flights.
UK Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster said: “As we’ve seen in recent years, our world-leading RAF stand ready to protect our skies at a moment’s notice.
“Be it intercepting Russian aircraft probing the boundary of our airspace or responding to a potential terrorist threat, their rapid response ensures our airspace and our people are safe.”
The Quick Reaction Alert Force at the Lincolnshire airbase comprises Eurofighter Typhoon pilots and engineers that are always prepared to carry out quick scrambles whenever an alert is launched.
Located in Lincolnshire, RAF Coningsby is one of two RAF Quick Reaction Alert stations that helps protect the country’s airspace. The other station is RAF Lossiemouth located in Moray, Scotland.
The RAF works in close cooperation with Nato partners to monitor Russian long-range aircraft moving through international airspace.
Airforce personnel remain prepared to scramble to intercept and escort Russian aircraft that fly within Nato air policing areas or pose a risk to civilian flights by not communicating with the air traffic control centre.
On 9 February last year, the RAF reportedly scrambled Typhoon fighter aircraft from RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth after two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers flew near the UK airspace.