UK & World News
RAF Fighter Jets Sent To Head Off Russia Planes
RAF Typhoons were scrambled yesterday to intercept "multiple Russian aircraft" over Baltic airspace, it has been revealed.
The fighter jets from 3 (Fighter) Squadron were launched after four separate groups of aircraft were detected by air defences in international airspace near the region.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Defence said the operation was part of Nato's ongoing mission to police Baltic airspace.
"Once airborne, the British jets identified the aircraft as a Russian Tupolev Tu22 'Backfire' bomber, four Sukhoi Su27 'Flanker' fighters, one Beriev A50 'Mainstay' early warning aircraft and an Antonov An26 'Curl' transport aircraft who appeared to be carrying out a variety of routine training," the statement said.
"The Russian aircraft were monitored by the RAF Typhoons and escorted on their way."
It added that the Typhoon pilots involved in the operation were Flight Lieutenant Mark Long of 29 (Reserve) Squadron and a French Air Force exchange pilot Commandant Marc-antoine Gerrard, who is currently attached to 1(Fighter) Squadron.
Flt Lt Long said: "The Typhoon is a superb aircraft that makes intercepting other aircraft exceptionally easy, today's interception of the Russian Flankers is all in day's work for an RAF fighter pilot."
Typhoon Detachment Commander Wing Commander Ian Townsend said: "We regularly intercept Russian and civilian aircraft ... so this type of mission is core business for us and exactly what we were sent to the Baltic region by Nato to do.
"It was a thoroughly successful operation with both my groundcrew and aircrew performing to the exacting professional high standards I have come to expect."
The RAF also released a number of images from the operation.