Armed RAF fighter jets have intercepted Russian military planes over the North Sea near British airspace, the British Air Force has said.
Typhoon jets were launched from RAF Lossiemouth in northern Scotland on Friday in response to a rapid reaction alert and were joined by an RAF Voyager to provide in-flight refueling.
The jets intercepted a pair of TU-142 “Bear-F” maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, described by the RAF as “Cold War era”.
They were tracked by NATO as they transited the military alliance’s air police north zone.
The RAF added that the Typhoons followed the aircraft throughout their journey as they approached British airspace.
“We worked closely with units of the Royal Air Force to achieve another successful interception, maintaining the integrity of UK and NATO airspace,” said an anonymous Typhoon pilot. of RAF Lossiemouth.
“We were first kept informed by our NATO colleagues and then routed directly to the Bears through the RAF Control and Reporting Center.
“Air-to-air refueling from an RAF Voyager kept us on task until the end of the mission and the aircraft left the UK area of interest.”
In a statement on the incident, the RAF said Russian military planes entering the UK flight information region, the controlled area of UK international airspace, could pose a danger to other air users.
He added that these planes often don’t talk to air traffic control or “squawk” – broadcasting a code ensuring they are visible to other air users and air traffic controllers on the ground.
Romania-based RAF Typhoons also responded to a NATO rapid reaction alert on Thursday for Russian planes flying in NATO airspace over the Black Sea, according to the military. the air.
During this incident, the RAF said the Russian plane left the area shortly after jets rushed to identify it.
Additional reports by the PA