RAF Typhoons intercept Russian aircraft twice in 24 hours

RAF Typhoons intercept Russian aircraft twice in 24 hours

On Thursday evening RAF Typhoons based at Amari airbase in Estonia and Swedish Air Force Gripens were scrambled to intercept a Russian Air Force IL-20 ‘COOT’ A and Su-27 ‘FLANKER’ B flying close to NATO and Swedish airspace.

The Russian aircraft were not complying with international norms by failing to communicate with the relevant Flight Information Regions (FIRs), however they remained in international airspace and flew in a professional manner.

Typhoons were again scrambled on Friday morning (9 June) to intercept one AN12 ‘CUB’ and one AN72 ‘COALER’ flying south from mainland Russia towards the Kaliningrad Oblast. The RAF fighters were later re-tasked to intercept two Tupolev Tu-22M ‘BACKFIRES’ and two Su-30 SM FLANKER H, also flying south from mainland Russia over the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea. The Russian aircraft were once again not complying with international norms by failing to liaise appropriately with local FIRs.

The Typhoons were joined by F18s of the Finnish Air Force as they escorted the BACKFIRES and FLANKER through the Gulf of Finland, later handing over to Gripens of the Swedish Air Force. Portuguese and Romanian F16s, based out of Siauliai Airbase in Lithuania, were also scrambled to escort the Russian aircraft as they transited further south through the Latvian and Lithuanian FIRs.

UK Defence Secretary, Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, said:

These intercepts are a stark reminder that the RAF is always ready to defend our skies and those of our allies, while the coordinated action by several air forces serves as a clear demonstration of the value of our international alliances.

NATO is currently conducting naval activity in the Baltic Sea as part of BALTOPs and, as expected, Russian aircraft have been monitoring allied vessels throughout. The RAF’s 140 EAW are currently deployed to Amari Airbase in Estonia to undertake NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission.

The RAF will continue to conduct NATO’s Air Policing Mission in Estonia with 1 (F) Sqn Typhoons until August, when they will hand over to the Spanish Air Force.


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