RAF jets scrambled to intercept Russian planes, MoD confirms

Updated: 

Typhoon jets were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth to intercept Russian aircraft on Thursday night, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.

They were launched after the two planes were detected flying over the Atlantic in international airspace.

At no point did the aircraft cross into UK airspace, the MoD said.

A spokesman added: "RAF quick reaction alert Typhoon fighter aircraft were launched overnight from RAF Lossiemouth on a Nato air policing mission after unidentified aircraft were detected flying over the Atlantic in international airspace.

"The aircraft were identified as Russian Tu-160 Blackjack aircraft which were escorted by the RAF until they were clear of the UK area of interest. At no time did the Russian military aircraft cross into UK sovereign airspace."

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "Our highly-skilled RAF pilots have once again demonstrated their skill and professionalism.

"This is another reminder that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they are ready at a moment's notice to protect our skies."