Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets have been launched in response to two Russian aircraft flying in NATO airspace.
Launching from their Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base at the weekend, the Typhoons responded to a Russian AN-26 and then a Be-12 heading over the Black Sea according to the Ministry of Defence. It’s the third time this week that RAF jets, on NATO’s Air Policing mission, have been scrambled to deter provocative Russian aircraft and reassure Romania and NATO allies.
Flight Lieutenant Ben, a Typhoon pilot on 1 (Fighter) Squadron, attached to 135 Expeditionary Air Wing, was conducting Quick Reaction Alert duty when the scramble was called. He said:
“We launched both QRA aircraft to counter an incursion into the Romanian airspace from the East over the Black Sea by a suspected Russian aircraft. We were able to intercept and identify it as a Russian An-26 CURL and escorted it clear of the Romanian airspace.”
Describing the separate and second incursion by the Be-12, he added:
“The first response was immediately followed by another suspected Russian aircraft over the Black Sea. Both Typhoons escorted it clear of Romanian airspace, the whole event was conducted safely and professionally on both sides.”
Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, is deployed to Romania as part of the NATO ‘Enhanced Air Policing’ mission, where assistance is provided to the Romanian Air Force’s own fleet of fast-jet aircraft.
“This is exactly what 1(Fighter) Squadron have been brought to Romania to do in support of 135 EAW and the Enhanced NATO air policing mission and it felt great to have been able to contribute towards the NATO mission to help support the Romanians police their airspace.”