Typhoons were scrambled from Amari air base in Estonia to intercept three Russian aircraft approaching the states over the Baltic Sea.
It is understood that the military transport aircraft, types AN-26 ‘Curl, AN-12 ‘Cub’ and IL-76 ‘Candid’ were intercepted as they were not transmitting a recognised identification code and were unresponsive to air traffic control.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“This is another example of just how important the UK’s contribution to the Baltic Air Policing Mission is. We were able to instantly respond to this act of Russian aggression – demonstration of our commitment to NATO’s collective defence.”
Four RAF Typhoons were deployed in April to support the Baltic Air Policing mission, an enduring NATO effort that sees alliance members without their own air policing assets assisted by others in four-monthly cycles.
One of the pilots involved in the mission said;
“The scramble went exactly as planned, we launched our Typhoon aircraft quickly and then using our advanced sensors and mission systems, combined with support from our Battlespace Managers on the ground, carried out textbook intercepts of the three aircraft.”
The mission in Estonia is supported by elements from across the Royal Air Force, deployed as 140 Expeditionary Air Wing.