Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon fighter jets have been launched in response to two Russian aircraft flying in NATO airspace, on Aug. 25.
Launching from their Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, the Typhoons responded to a Russian An-26 tactical airlifter and then a Be-12 patrol aircraft heading over the Black Sea. It’s the third time this week that RAF jets, on NATO’s Air Policing mission, have been scrambled to deter provocative Russian aircraft and reassure Romania and NATO allies.
On Aug 20, two RAF Typhoons were scrambled in response to two suspected Russian Su-30 Flanker jets operating near NATO airspace over the Black Sea while on Aug. 23, Typhoons interrupted a Russian Be-12 maritime patrol aircraft’s path towards NATO airspace over the Black Sea.
Flight Lieutenant Ben, a Typhoon pilot on 1 (Fighter) Squadron, attached to 135 Expeditionary Air Wing, was conducting Quick Reaction Alert duty when the scramble was called. He said:
“We launched both QRA aircraft to counter an incursion into the Romanian airspace from the East over the Black Sea by a suspected Russian aircraft. We were able to intercept and identify it s a Russian An-26 CURL and escorted it clear of the Romanian airspace”, Flt Lt. Ben said.
“The first response was immediately followed by another suspected Russian aircraft over the Black Sea. Both Typhoons escorted it clear of Romanian airspace, the whole event was conducted safely and professionally on both sides”, he added describing the separate and second incursion by the Be-12.
Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, is deployed to Romania as part of the NATO ‘Enhanced Air Policing’ mission, where assistance is provided to the Romanian Air Force’s own fleet of fast-jet aircraft.
“This is exactly what 1(Fighter) Squadron have been brought to Romania to do in support of 135 EAW and the Enhanced NATO air policing mission and it felt great to have been able to contribute towards the NATO mission to help support the Romanians police their airspace”, he said describing the mission.