The UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets, based in Romania, have been successfully deployed to intercept Russian Su-24 Fencer aircraft operating near NATO airspace over the Black Sea.
The RAF Typhoon aircraft operated from the Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta on the Black Sea coast.
Fighter jets responded to the suspected Russian bomber aircraft, which was flying over the western Black Sea and was heading west towards Nato airspace.
The Russian jet was monitored by two Eurofighter Typhoon pilots from 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) as part of the Nato Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission that the RAF is currently carrying out in Romania.
A Typhoon pilot from 1 (Fighter) Squadron, attached to 135 EAW, said: “When we received the message to scramble, we sprinted to the jets with our engineers, fired up the aircraft and took off all within a matter of minutes.
“We were then vectored toward the unknown Russian aircraft that were close to infringing Nato airspace.
“The Russian aircraft did not enter Nato airspace so we were ordered to patrol the skies for a short period of time as a deterrent until finally returning to MK Air Base. We routinely conduct air policing in the UK so today’s event is familiar and went seamlessly.”
The RAF’s current Nato eAP mission in Romania is part of the alliance’s assurance measures introduced in 2014.
Nato began implementing the assurance measures with the aim of demonstrating the collective resolve of allies and the defensive nature of the alliance.
The 15.96m-long Eurofighter Typhoon is an advanced swing-role combat aircraft that is designed to carry out air-to-air and air-to-surface missions simultaneously.