A Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft of the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) took off from RAF Lossiemouth to fly over the newly installed air defence radar at Saxa Vord on the island of Unst, Shetland, Scotland.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is part of the RAF’s Number 1 Fighter Squadron.

The Saxa Vord remote radar head will be used to deliver significant aircraft movement information to the north of the UK.

“The new air defence radar will help enhance the RAF and Nato to understand the airspace north of Britain and across the Norwegian Sea.”

The radar head will also support the nationwide Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) operation, which is responsible for policing international and UK airspace from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray and RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

The new air defence radar will help enhance the RAF and Nato to understand the airspace north of Britain and across the Norwegian Sea.

This will improve the UK’s sovereign capability at a time of increased Russian military activity, as well as help Unst to perform its earlier role during the 1960s and 1970s when the site was used as an early warning radar on Nato’s northern flank.

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By GlobalData

Over the past five years, the RAF has carried out a total of 69 QRA launches.

In January, two Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets took off from RAF Lossiemouth and were used to intercept two approaching Russian military aircraft that did not respond to the air traffic control authorities.