Typhoon jets deployed in Estonia were scrambled twice over the weekend to intercept Russian fighter aircraft.
The aircraft did not enter Estonian airspace.
The Ministry of Defence said that Typhoon jets on QRA alert launched during the evening of Friday the 14th of June to intercept a Russian SU-30 fighter aircraft that was flying to the north of Estonia.
A Typhoon pilot from XI(Fighter) Squadron said in a release:
“We were scrambled to intercept a contact close to Estonian airspace in the early evening, between two periods of poor weather. Shortly after getting airborne we came alongside a SU-30 Flanker fighter aircraft. We escorted the fighter over the Baltic sea, around Estonia and passing over another Russian military transport aircraft in the process.”
Crews made a second scramble on Saturday the 15th of June to intercept a Russian SU-30 Flanker fighter and an Ilyushin IL-76 Candid transport aircraft transiting north from Kaliningrad towards Estonian and Finnish airspace.
The pilot added:
“We scrambled to intercept two contacts that were approaching Estonian airspace from the south. We escorted the two aircraft for 15 minutes as they transited back towards mainland Russia. We then handed over responsibility to two Finnish QRA aircraft, which had also been scrambled as the Russian aircraft operated on the airspace boundary between Estonia and Finland.”
During both intercepts, the aircraft were flown at a safe distance and operated in a professional manner throughout.
The Royal Air Force is deployed on Operation AZOTIZE in Estonia in support of NATO Baltic Air Policing.