Two Typhoon fighters, a Voyager tanker and an E-3 Sentry have launched this morning in order to intercept Russian aircraft.

In addition to the Typhoons, a Voyager tanker aircraft was deployed from RAF Brize Norton and positioned itself over northern Scotland, soon joined by an E-3 Sentry aircraft.

This shouldn’t alarm anyone, for those you you who may be unaware the scrambling of aircraft to meet other aircraft near the UK is a relatively common occurrence. A QRA response involves the fighter aircraft being scrambled to investigate aircraft in or near an area of interest.

This may also be a civilian aircraft that poses a threat, if not sufficiently responding to air traffic control; incidents of this nature in the UK are monitored by the Control and Reporting Centre at RAF Boulmer which builds a ‘3D Recognised Air Picture’.

Typhoon is the UK’s Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) aircraft. RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire looks after the southern UK and RAF Lossiemouth in Moray protects the northern UK.

The Royal Air Force said in a statement:

“We can confirm that quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth scrambled this morning, this is a live operation and therefore we will not be providing any additional information until the mission is complete.”

In May last year, two Typhoons were scrambled when two Russian aircraft entered the UK’s area of interest. In October, jets from four European countries, including the UK, intercepted Russian aircraft between Norway and Spain.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Those pesky Ruskies! I’m sure the RAF are quite happy they do this though in order to stave off any cuts that might be coming their way.

  2. Been going on for many decades. Lightnings,Phantoms,Tornado ADV and Typhoon-a wonderful gam ethat no doubt both sides enjoy!

  3. The usual Russian trolls and ‘It happens all the time, you shouldn’t be reporting on this’ crowd commenting on several sites.

    It’s newsworthy because nuclear capable bombers were heading towards British airspace at high speeds.

  4. Interesting but has been happening for decades!

    And yes NATO sent aircraft towards Russia too, and probably still do.

    Gary Powers for example?

    RAF pilots flying USAF aircraft.

    Right over their country.

    Puts it in perspective for me.

  5. I’m sure if we had any long range bombers we would be doing the same thing. They are testing the radar / reaction times and also making flybys seem normal, and so reducing the scale of the reaction assets wise. In the event of a real attack, both of these would massively help the attacker.

  6. This may be happening all the time but it’s only been reported now because the government need all the help it can get to deflect away from condemnation of its disastrous performance

  7. I remember being on an RFA & getting the first sighting of the then brand new Soviet auxiliary vessel Berezina, back in the 70’s, somewhere near Turkey. An intelligence led interception by sea, not air, but reinforces the point, that these interceptions are not the stuff of news or drama, just the routine things that different arms of MOD resources, including those civilian crewed, do regularly. Maybe I have too many years behind me, but it’s hardly news of any sort. Both sides enjoy the opportunity flex a few muscles & wave at each other.

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