British jets scrambled at the weekend to intercept two Russian SU-30 Flanker fighters, two SU-24 Fencer attack aircraft and an AN-12 transport aircraft flying off the north coast of Estonia.
The aircraft were in international airspace and this intercept is entirely routine.
Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster said:
“Our commitment to NATO and European security is unwavering and our brave RAF pilots have shown once again that we are ready to respond to any threat to the UK and its allies. Alongside our NATO allies, we must remain vigilant and aware of Russian military activity.”
The Typhoons took over the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission from the German Air Force last month.
A Typhoon pilot from XI(Fighter) Squadron, attached to 121 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW), was conducting Quick Reaction Alert duty when the scramble was called. He said in a press release issued by the MoD:
“We were scrambled to intercept a group of four Russian fighters. The intercept was routine and we stayed with them for around 25 minutes during their transit from mainland Russia to the Kaliningrad oblast.
Once complete with this task we hauled off and conducted a further intercept of a Russian AN-12 aircraft travelling much lower and slower along the same route. The intercept of all five aircraft was uneventful and conducted in a professional manner throughout.”
This is the fourth Quick Reaction Alert scramble since the RAF deployed in April 2019 as part of Baltic Air Policing.