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The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has announced that an RAF Poseidon aircraft has joined a Nato patrolling mission amid the Ukraine conflict.

The maritime patrol aircraft, along with other Nato ships and aircraft, will conduct surveillance missions to detect and track Russian warships in the Mediterranean Sea.

As part of a collective defence mission, Nato partners monitor and shadow Russian vessels discreetly from a distance.

Such Russian warships include Slava Class cruisers, Udaloy Class destroyers and other support vessels.

RAF CXX Squadron squadron leader Dave Higgins said: “We were able to use Poseidon, one of the most capable intelligence platforms in the world, to support our allies by getting in close and identifying those ships. As one of the only nations within Nato with this platform, our involvement enhances the ability of the Alliance to monitor Russian activity.

“It was a great demonstration that a British sovereign maritime patrol capability is ready to assist allies and partners in combined operations. It was also important to show that we’re standing alongside our Nato partners and other nations, contributing to the security of the Alliance.”

The Boeing Poseidon MRA1 (P-8A) is a maritime patrol aircraft.

The multi-role aircraft can perform a variety of missions including surveillance and search and rescue missions.

According to the RAF website, it has a maximum speed of 907km/h with a ferry range of around 7,242km. Last week, RAF announced that Typhoon jets took to the skies as part of pre-planned Enhanced Vigilance Activity. The operation aims to defend allied airspace against possible aggression.