RAF jets see off Russian military aircraft for the second time in a week

RAF jets have been scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft for the second time in a week.

The Ministry of Defence said that RAF quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth were sent on Wednesday to monitor two Tu-142 Bear Maritime Patrol Aircraft bombers which had moved near UK airspace.

Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, said: “These Russian bombers do not comply with international air traffic rules, are a hazard to airliners and are not welcome in our airspace.

“RAF Typhoons, alongside our Nato allies, ensured these Russian aircraft posed no hazard.”

Typhoons Intercept Russian Aircraft
Typhoons Intercept Russian Aircraft

The Russian aircraft had approached from the north east and flew in international airspace off the west coast of the UK, down towards the Bay of Biscay.

They were then monitored by a French quick reaction alert ream before returning north.

At no point did the Russian aircraft enter UK sovereign airspace, the MoD said.

An unnamed RAF quick reaction alert pilot from RAF Lossiemouth, who intercepted the Russian Bears, said: “The UK has some of the busiest airspace in the world and civilian airliners are constantly using the airways in this area, so our presence ensured UK air traffic controllers could continue to manage this busy airspace around the hazard of the Russian activity.”

Early this morning, #TeamLossie launched two Quick Reaction Alert Typhoons to intercept and shadow two Russian Tu-142 Bear-F aircraft as they approached the UK's area of interest.

This thread is everything you need to know 👇

1/7 #QRApic.twitter.com/YuzWxcLtma

— RAF Lossiemouth (@RAFLossiemouth) March 11, 2020

The action came after six RAF fighter jets were scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft which tried to enter British airspace on Saturday.

The MoD said the unidentified aircraft were tracked heading towards the north west coast of Scotland, prompting the air force to deploy three pairs of Typhoons.

The MoD said two pairs of Typhoons were dispatched from RAF Lossiemouth close to Moray in north-east Scotland, while the third flew from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

Flying in formation, two pairs approached the aircraft before withdrawing, while the third pair finished the job of forcing them to change course.

A Voyager tanker, the air-to-air refuelling aircraft, from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, was also deployed to support the mission.