Typhoon fighter aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth have been scrambled to monitor Russian long-range aircraft flying in international airspace north of Scotland, say the Royal Air Force.

“On this occasion, the Russian aircraft however turned away as they approached the UK Flight Information Region (FIR), north of the Scottish coast and as such no interception was needed. To support the Typhoons, a Voyager aircraft from RAF Brize Norton was also launched to conduct Air to Air Refuelling.  This is standard procedure and allows the Typhoons to extend their time in the air.”

The Voyager allocated to this task, was the recently returned to service VIP configured aircraft.  This Voyager has now re-joined the rotation of tanker aircraft that are held on standby to support the UK’s Quick Reaction Alert mission.


Air Vice Marshal Duguid, Air Officer Commanding 11 Group said:

“The interception by RAF Typhoons of Russian military aircraft in the UK FIR demonstrates our continuing resolve to police, protect and defend our airspace 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

The Minister for Armed Forces James Heappey MP said:

“Once again our RAF personnel have demonstrated their exceptional abilities to protect our skies, responding to provocation without hesitation.  The dangerous flying of Russian aircraft towards our air space is a clear reminder of the threats that we face as a nation on a daily basis.”

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They might have wondered why BA was flying out there. 🙂


Well that clears it up for everyone. The tankering capability is retained. With me engineers hat I on would think the extra fuel is carrier in additional tanks in the cargo hold. They’ll be close to the wing roots to minimise C.G. moves when refueling fighters. Not sure if you would need to remove the tanks when carrying passengers, there might be good safety reasons / regulations to remove them. If not given the weight of fuel at max take off weight I would be surprised if the tanks filled all of the luggage / cargo space so carrying a… Read more »


I’d say that it was chosen delibrately for this tgo show it was still an operational aircraft.

Daniele Mandelli

Agree. And it is, and always was. It’s colour is irrelevant! The RAF still have 9 forward fleet tankers.

Andy P

That’s my hunch too, we’ll see it a couple times being used then it will be at the very back of the queue for AAR. It’ll then be ‘Sunday best’ and kept all shiny.

We’ll see I guess.


I’m not against the idea in principle, as long as it doesn’t affect capabilities.


Don’t the voyagers Not Cary extra fuel tanks they just use the existing ones on the aircraft for refueling, so there’s actually no huge tanks in cargo ect.

Sceptical Richard


Sceptical Richard

No, the beauty of the A330 MRTT is that it doesn’t need additional fuel tanks in its belly to conduct its AAR operations. It’s standard wing tanks hold all the fuel that any conceivable AAR mission would ever need. 111 tons of fuel altogether. A massive fuel load.


Yeah and that makes these planes Truly versatile

Dave G

The amount of fuel the fighters need compared to the tanker is small so all Voyager just uses the standard tanks. They fly light in the AAR role so dont lose much range and don’t need the extra complexity of extra tanks.


I find it amusing that the Boeing KC46 is still having issues and the USAF have refused to accept it into service. The Airbus 330 that was proposed and then lost the competition was then a newly designed tanker aircraft. But it has proven it is more than up to the job in both drogue and boom configurations. What is amusing is the the USAF are looking to contract in tanker support and one of the companies was looking at using the A330 aircraft!

Sceptical Richard

America first!

Paul T

There is something im curious about – How do the Typhoons Liaise with the Voyager Tanker when (A) the Typhoons are usually based nearer the point of Intercept ,and (B) Typhoons can Fly at a much Higher Speed,especially over the Sea ? .Is it the case that a Voyager is always in a certain area Patroling ready for such a mission ? .

Daniele Mandelli

Don’t the tankers fly a racetrack pattern over areas of the North Sea?


Yes, pretty much. The tanker will be given an area in which it needs to be in. It will be flying race track patterns for a couple of hours. The Typhoon has a number of ways it knows where the Tanker will be. The easiest one is the position is relayed to it from a ground station or Sentry over Link-16.

Aethelstan the curioAreus

I can’t help but feel smug when I previously posted they should deploy the liveried aircraft. Bragging rights yippee.


The old white livery on the Tri Stars was better with the small RAF tail flash. Low key and understated, that would have been better in my opinion


Team Britain: World Police

Andy P

Feck yeah !


This was a DM story, fuck me you should have read some of the shite comments that your average civvy thinks. Clueless, with no clue about it’s role and capabilities. Most comments on the DM story was about how shit we are, the flags the wrong way up and it’s Boris aircraft, therefore why is it intercepting russkies! Fuck me I do despair at the level of military knowldge by the average Joe in the street, but to be fair, most daily rags, the DM especially, are fucking clueless about military matters, with so called defence correspondents who know sweet… Read more »


Airborne – I’d really appreciate it if you kept your language for the street. Personally, I find it very offensive and certainly not appropriate for a platform such as UKDJ. If you can’t express yourself without multiple expletives then please don’t post.


Ah thanks for the input, however at that time expletives were deemed appropriate for my mood and post. If it offends you then please do accept an apology. However I can express myself very well, without expletives, but until George comes and gives me a telling off, I will continue posting as I deem fit. Thanks for the chat, stay safe.


Apology accepted AB!