Thursday, 4 April 2019

RAF fighter jets scramble three times in seven days to intercept Russian bombers

Photo MoD / RAF
It has been confirmed that Typhoon fighters from RAF Lossiemouth had to rapidly scramble on Wednesday 3rd April to intercept Russian military aircraft for the third time in just seven days.

On Wednesday, the Typhoon jets were sent up to monitor two Russian bombers that were rapidly approaching UK airspace and area of interest.  The Russian aircraft were two 'Blackjack' Tupolev Tu-160 long-range bombers, which flew in international airspace just off the UK's eastern coast. Following the interception, the Russian aircraft returned northwards.

The Typhoon's were rapidly deployed on Friday 29th March to monitor Russian aircraft activity and were joined by an RAF Voyager aircraft sent from RAF Brize Norton. The RAF worked closely with NATO partners to monitor the Russian aircraft as they passed through a variety of international airspace before they were intercepted over the North Sea. The Ministry of Defence said, 'Our fighters escorted them from the UK’s area of interest and ensured that they did not enter UK sovereign airspace.'

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "Our brave RAF pilots have shown again that we are ready to respond to any threat to the UK. Alongside our NATO allies, we must remain vigilant and aware of Russian military activity."

The RAF routinely identify, intercept and escort Russian aircraft that transit international airspace within proximity to the UK’s area of interest and continue to be on call every day. This is the third time in seven days that RAF aircraft have taken to the air to investigate Russian activity. The previous Wednesday 27th March, RAF jets were scrambled in the evening, but on that occasion, an intercept by the Typhoons was not necessary.

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