The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has scrambled Typhoon fighter aircraft to intercept two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers approaching UK airspace on March 29.
The Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Typhoons were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth, with an RAF Voyager from RAF Brize Norton providing air to air refuelling support .
RAF said in a statement that it worked closely with NATO partners to monitor the Russian aircraft as they passed through a variety of international airspace before they were intercepted over the North Sea. RAF fighters escorted them from the UK’s area of interest and ensured that they did not enter UK sovereign airspace, the statement added.
“Our brave RAF pilots have shown again that we are ready to respond to any threat to the UK. Alongside our NATO allies, we must remain vigilant and aware of Russian military activity”, said Gavin Williamson, the UK Defence Secretary.
The RAF routinely identify, intercept and escort Russian aircraft that transit international airspace within proximity to the UK’s area of interest and continue to be on call every day. This is the second time this week RAF aircraft have taken to the air to investigate Russian activity, following a similar incident on Wednesday evening, but on that occasion an intercept by the Typhoons was not necessary.