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.”