Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters stationed in Scotland have been dispatched to intercept a Russian military plane that was operating close to UK airspace. The plane was identified as a Tu-142 Maritime Patrol aircraft, also known as a Bear-F by NATO. It approached from the North-East and flew in international airspace over the Norwegian Sea and North Atlantic Ocean on Sunday.
However, it did not enter UK sovereign airspace at any point during the incident.
Norwegian F-35A fighter jets were also launched to monitor the Russian aircraft as part of NATO’s response.
An RAF Typhoon pilot said the scramble “demonstrated the close working relationships we have with our NATO colleagues.”
They continued: “After scrambling to intercept the Russian aircraft, we were in close contact with RAF Battlespace Managers, who directed us towards the aircraft and relayed orders throughout, ensuring we could confirm where they were and what they were doing at all times.”
A Voyager aircraft from RAF Brize Norton provided additional air-to-air refueling support, and the National Air and Space Operations Centre at RAF High Wycombe and the Air Surveillance and Control System at RAF Boulmer provided command and control. QRA procedures involve the RAF holding aircraft and crews at continuous high readiness to take off within minutes and intercept any unidentified aircraft flying in the UK’s area of interest to protect UK sovereign airspace if required.
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