Typhoons have scrambled to intercept six Russian bombers flying close to NATO airspace over the Black Sea.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the jets launched early Monday from their base in Romania after the Russian Su-24 Fencer aircraft were detected approaching Romanian air space.

It said there had been “significant Russian air activity through most of the night”. The Russian aircraft eventually turned towards Crimea, the RAF said.

The statement added that the operation “was in accordance with the NATO Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission, whereby the RAF operates alongside its NATO ally to deter Russian aggression, reassure our friends in Romania and assure NATO allies of our commitment to collective defence”.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the enhanced Air Policing mission is part of NATO’s Assurance Measures, implemented after Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

“Allies augmentation of Romania’s own Air Policing capabilities sends a clear message of NATO’s resolve, commitment and solidarity to its Eastern Allies.  Romania has successfully and professionally conducted its own Air Policing under NATO control and standards since its accession in 2004. 

The RAF will be operating alongside the Romanian Air Force’s own fleet of fast-jet aircraft. Romania is equipped with MiG -21LanceR and the American built F-16 aircraft.”

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Peter Crisp

Out of interest how many bombers would be seen as unseemly?
If they sent 20 would Russia be able to claim it’s just a really big exercise that got a tad lost?


Russia would claim any thing apart from the truth.

Evan P

I would have thought that both NATO and Russia inform each other of exercises that are going to take place in order to prevent hostile engagements, so I don’t think that the excuse would be accepted.

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So I assume that’s 2 Typhoons vs 6 Fencers? – or were the Romanians up there too? Still, I doubt 6 Fencers would pose much a problem to the Typhoons…

Paul T

David – on paper id agree 2 Typhoons vs 6 Fencers wouldn’t pose much of a problem,but not forgetting how 2 Fencers spooked the USS Donald Cook (depending on which story you read) one can never be too sure.

Mr Bell

Typhoon weapons load should easily enable even just 1 typhoon to take on 6 su24 fencers. These are strike aircraft with equivalence to the old F111 ardvark platform. So distinctly 3rd / early 4th generation jets. Our Eastern NATO allies though struggling with the transition from communism to democracy and free market economy do need to spend more on defence. Apart from Poland most Eastern European nations spend less than 2% GDP to defence ratio. This is not acceptable they are simply freeloading off NATO just like the Germans. Romania should spend circa £13-14 billion a year on its defence… Read more »

Paul T

Yes – Turkey has experience from the other year ,F16 using AMRAAM did the job,agree that some Eastern European nations could invest more in defense but as is the case here there must be other priorities for funding.