RAF Jets Scrambled for Second Time in Two Days to Intercept Aircraft Approaching UK Area of Interest
11:30 GMT 03.02.2022 (Updated: 15:18 GMT 28.05.2023)
© AP Photo / Petros KaradjiasIn this Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016 photo, a Typhoon aircraft takes off from RAF, Akrotiri, British air forces for a mission in Iraq.
© AP Photo / Petros Karadjias
The incident is the second of its kind in less than 24 hours. On Wednesday, the Royal Air Force scrambled Typhoon jets to escort four Russian strategic bombers operating north of Scotland.
Royal Air Force Typhoon jets operating out of Lossiemouth assisted by a Voyager Tanker aircraft were scrambled Thursday to intercept foreign aircraft operating near a UK area of interest, an RAF spokesperson has told reporters.
"Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon fighters from RAF Lossiemouth, supported by a Voyager Tanker from RAF Brize Norton, have been launched against aircraft approaching the UK area of interest. We will not be offering any additional detail on this ongoing operation until complete," the spokesperson said.
A day earlier, Eurofighter Typhoons from the same air force base, and backed by the same Voyager tanker, were scrambled to intercept and escort four Russian 'Bear' aircraft north of Scotland. The Bear is the NATO reporting name for the Tupolev Tu-95, a nuclear capable strategic bomber, and the Tupolev Tu-142 (Bear F/J), a Russian maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft derived from the Tu-95.
On Wednesday night, Russia's Northern Fleet confirmed that two Tu-142s from naval aviation were flown over the Northeast Atlantic Ocean in a drill to sniff out enemy submarines. The aircraft took off from the Vologda region (about 370 km northeast of Moscow) and proceeded over the Norwegian Sea to the mission area, and were joined along the route by two MiG-31 interceptor jets (the same type of plane which can be fitted with hypersonic Kinzhal missiles).
The Northern Fleet indicated that the Russian aircraft were accompanied by fighter jets from the Norwegian and British air forces for part of their journey, and stressed that the flight "took place in strict accordance with international rules for the use of airspace over the neutral waters of the Barents and Norwegian Seas and the Atlantic Ocean."
The RAF and the Norwegian air forces did not report any incidents involving the Russian jets during Wednesday's flyover.
Also on Wednesday, the MoD announced that at least one Royal Navy warship had been deployed to "monitor" Russian naval vessels transiting through the English Channel.
The operations come amid growing tensions between Russia on one side and the UK and its NATO allies on the other over the situation in Ukraine, where the West has spent months claiming that Moscow is poised for an "invasion" of its neighbour. Russian officials have dismissed these claims, and accused NATO of stoking tensions in a bid to beef up its military footprint along the eastern flank of allies ringing Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke by telephone on Wednesday, discussing Ukraine and Russia's proposals on security guarantees. Johnson travelled to Kiev on Tuesday to assure the Ukrainian government that it has British economic and weapons support against Russia.
2 February 2022, 17:46 GMT