Typhoons on Quick Reaction Alert based in Romania monitored a Russian fighter flying in international airspace over the Black Sea.
The Royal Air Force say that the Russian aircraft had not filed a flight plan and was not speaking with Romanian Air Traffic Control so making it “a flight safety hazard to all air users”.
The aircraft are part of Operation BILOXI, the UK contribution to the NATO enhanced Air Policing mission in the region, which in turn is part of the NATO Assurance Measures first authorised in 2014 following the NATO Summit of that year.
“When the unidentified, though suspected Russian aircraft entered the Romanian Flight Information Region we were scrambled to carry out a visual identification. We were airborne within minutes and heading towards the track; it wasn’t long before we intercepted the aircraft and identified it as a Russian SU-24 Fencer.
It had flown no closer than 20 miles from the Romanian coast before we intercepted it. We shadowed it until it left the Flight Information Region heading North East. We then resumed our combat air patrol mission and returned to base.”
Wing Commander Lamping, Commanding Officer 121 Expeditionary Air Wing, was also quoted:
“Every time we scramble to intercept unidentified aircraft in support of the enhanced Air Policing mission we are demonstrating our steadfast commitment to NATO by helping to secure NATO airspace in the Black Sea region and reassure our Romanian allies.”
This happens often, doesn’t it?
No doubt you’ve probably noticed dozens of comments on our Facebook page saying something like, ‘nothing new’ or ‘This happens all the time it is not news!’. While this is a common occurrence, we believe that its important for the public to know that. After all, if it isn’t reported frequently, how are people to know it’s a frequent occurrence and not something to worry about?