The UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Typhoon fighters intercepted three Russian aircraft near the Baltic states, as part of the country’s involvement in Nato’s Baltic air policing (BAP) mission.
According to the UK Ministry of Defence, Typhoon jets scrambled from Amari air base in Estonia after identifying Russia’s AN-26 ‘Curl, AN-12 ‘Cub’ and IL-76 ‘Candid’ aircraft near the Baltics.
Russian military transport aircraft were intercepted as they were not transmitting a recognised identification code and were unresponsive.
UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "This is another example of just how important the UK’s contribution to the Baltic Air Policing Mission is.
"We were able to instantly respond to this act of Russian aggression, a demonstration of our commitment to Nato’s collective defence."
Four RAF Typhoon fighters and pilots from II (Army Co-operation) Squadron from RAF Lossiemouth were deployed in April to support the BAP mission.
This rotation of BAP will see UK jets operating alongside Portuguese F16s operating from Šiauliai in Lithuania.
Previously, Typhoon fighters were scrambled 17 times, and intercepted more than 40 Russian aircraft.
In July 2015, the Typhoons intercepted ten separate Russian aircraft, including eight fighters.
140 Expeditionary Air Wing RAF commanding officer wing commander Gordon Melville said: "We have once more proven our ability to secure the skies in the vicinity of the Baltic States and have demonstrated the close link between the Royal Air Force, Estonian and NATO units that have planned and enabled this defensive response so successfully.
"We will continue to standby 24/7 to secure the Baltic skies."
Image: RAF Typhoon and Russian AN-26 Curl. Photo: courtesy of Crown Copyright.