Armed RAF fighter jets were scrambled to intercept Russian “Cold War era” military aircraft flying near UK airspace, the air force has said.
The Quick Reaction Alert Typhoons were launched from RAF Lossiemouth, north Scotland, after the Russian planes were detected over the North Sea.
They intercepted a pair of TU-142 “Bear-F” Maritime Reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft – described by the RAF as “Cold War era”.
‘Cold War-era’ aircraft were intercepted by the RAF. Pic: RAF
The aircraft were tracked by NATO as they transited within the military alliance’s northern air policing area.
In a statement, a Typhoon pilot from RAF Lossiemouth said: “We worked closely with units from around the Royal Air Force to deliver another successful intercept, maintaining the integrity of UK and NATO airspace throughout.
“We were initially kept informed by our NATO colleagues and then routed directly to the Bears by the RAF Control and Reporting Centre.
“Air to air refuelling from an RAF Voyager ensured we were able to stay on task until the mission was complete, and the aircraft departed from the UK’s area of interest.”
Follow the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker.
Russian military aircraft entering the UK’s controlled zone of international airspace can pose a hazard to other users, the RAF added.
Russian planes, it said, often do not talk to air traffic control, or “squawk” – broadcasting a code to ensure they are visible to other air users and controllers on the ground.