RAF Typhoons intercept Russian aircraft heading for UK airspace

9 March 2020 (Last Updated March 9th, 2020 12:47)

The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has scrambled six of its Eurofighter Typhoon multirole fighter jets to intercept Russian military aircraft heading towards UK airspace.

RAF Typhoons intercept Russian aircraft heading for UK airspace
Royal Air Force Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Coningsby intercept Russian aircraft approaching UK Air Space. Image: Royal Air Force/ Crown Copyright.

The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has scrambled six of its Eurofighter Typhoon multirole fighter jets to intercept Russian military aircraft heading towards UK airspace.

According to an RAF Lossiemouth tweet, two Russian aircraft were identified as Tupolev Tu-142 Bears, the F and J variants of the strategic bomber and long-range maritime patrol aircraft.

The aircraft were heading towards the north-west coast of Scotland. The total number of Russian jets involved in the incident was not disclosed.

The RAF deployed two pairs of Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Typhoon for the intercept mission from RAF Lossiemouth near Moray in Scotland and one from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

The Typhoons intercepted the Russian aircraft and forced them to change course and remain outside of the UK’s area of interest.

RAF spokesman said in a statement: “This was a routine response to Russian aircraft approaching UK airspace and was coordinated with several other Nato allies.”

RAF Lossiemouth tweeted: “At no point did these aircraft enter UK sovereign airspace. The Russian aircraft were shadowed by our Typhoons, along with Quick Reaction Alert aircraft from our Nato partners in Norway and France.

“We are ready to respond to any unidentified aircraft and potential airborne threats, 24/7/365.”

The mission was also backed by a Voyager tanker air-to-air refuelling aircraft, which was located at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

Last month, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced at the Nato Defence Ministers’ meeting that four RAF Typhoons will deploy to Lithuania this summer as part of the Nato Air Policing mission.