UK RAF scrambles Typhoon jets to intercept Russian military aircraft

12 August 2019 (Last Updated August 12th, 2019 14:56)

The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has scrambled Typhoon fighter jets twice in a single day to intercept Russian military aircraft.

UK RAF scrambles Typhoon jets to intercept Russian military aircraft
An RAF Typhoon flies alongside a Russian bomber jet. Credit: © Crown copyright.

The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has scrambled Typhoon fighter jets twice in a single day to intercept Russian military aircraft.

The service sent Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth located in north-east Scotland in response to two Russian Bear maritime patrol aircraft approaching UK airspace.

In a statement, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) stated that an RAF Voyager from RAF Brize Norton assisted the Typhoon aircraft in monitoring the Russian Bear jets and escorting them from the UK’s area of interest.

The Russian patrol aircraft were said to be flying near the international airspace of the UK’s fellow Nato allies.

In another incident, the RAF also scrambled Typhoons from Amari airbase to intercept a Russian Bear bomber and two Flanker fighter jets flying near Estonian airspace.

The QRA Typhoons are deployed on Operation AZOTIZE in Estonia in support of the Nato Baltic Air Policing mission.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Every day certain states are determined to push international norms and to test the UK’s resolve. The threats to the international rules-based system are on many fronts.

“The RAF is well equipped to stand sentry alongside our allies on the UK’s and Europe’s borders. I am grateful they are there 24/7 to uphold the UK’s commitment to our security.”

The MoD stated that the UK QRA intercept and monitoring was performed ‘in a safe and professional manner’.

In a statement, the MoD said: “Russian aircraft frequently attempt to test Nato’s level of readiness, as well as conduct intelligence-gathering missions.”

The incidents come after RAF Typhoons intercepted five Russian military aircraft within two days.

The latest QRA launch from Amari airbase is the 17th QRA scramble resulting in an intercept since the RAF assumed charge of enhanced air policing in May as part of Nato’s Baltic Air Policing mission.