RAF Storm jets intercepted Russian bombers flying north of Scotland within the early hours of Monday morning, the UK authorities has stated.
Storm fighters had been scrambled to intercept two Russian long-range maritime patrol bombers as they transited close to the Shetland Islands inside NATO’s northern air policing space, the federal government added.
The UK fast response alert (QRA) jets had been launched from RAF Lossiemouth in northeast Scotland and the 2 Russian bombers had been monitored in worldwide airspace as they flew north of the UK.
A Voyager refuelling tanker was additionally launched and remained airborne at some point of the mission – not specified by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) – to supply air-to-air refuelling to the Storm fighters if wanted.
Minister for the armed forces, James Heappey, stated: “RAF crews at Lossiemouth preserve a continuing watch over UK airspace and are all the time able to take motion at a second’s discover to maintain our nation secure.
“Pilots launched of their Storm jets to intercept two Russian long-range bombers this morning, monitoring them as they handed north of the Shetland Islands, able to counter any potential risk to UK territory.”
The lead RAF Storm pilot, who was not named by the MoD, added: “It is actually satisfying to know we have been capable of make a profitable intercept, sustaining the integrity of UK and NATO airspace.
“When the alarm for a scramble occurred within the early hours of the morning, the adrenaline kicked in. Working in tandem with floor management operators, and with air-to-air refuelling from an RAF Voyager, we had been capable of keep on job till the mission was full, and the goal plane departed the UK’s space of curiosity.”
UK pilots from RAF Lossiemouth lately accomplished a four-month deployment to steer NATO’s air policing mission in Estonia the place they intercepted 50 Russian plane and flew for a mixed whole of greater than 500 hours.
This isn’t the primary time RAF fast response aircrafts have intercepted Russian jets close to UK airspace – a Russian spy aircraft was intercepted north of Scotland in Could earlier this 12 months, though such interceptions have occurred for a few years.
When Russian jets enter airspace managed by the UK, QRA fighters are despatched instantly as they will typically be a hazard to different plane as a result of they don’t speak to air site visitors management, and nor do they “squawk” with their code to let different air customers know they’re there.
Equally, Moscow claimed in June that it needed to scramble its own jets after three British warplanes had been detected close to the nation’s border – however the Ministry of Defence later described it as “a routine operation in worldwide airspace”.