Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) had to scramble its Typhoon fighter jets from an airbase in Scotland to intercept two Russian Blackjack bombers close to UK airspace, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.
Aircraft were sent yesterday as a “precautionary measure” from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, England.
The Russian jets flew from the direction of Norway and passed to the west of Britain’s Shetland Islands, northeast of the mainland.
A Royal Air Force spokesperson said: “Quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth intercepted two Russian Blackjack bombers and escorted them while they were in the UK area of interest. At no point did the Russian aircraft enter UK territorial airspace.”
Similar incidents have been recorded and Typhoons from RAF Coningsby conducted a similar operation in February, while in October and November 2015 fighter jets were scrambled from Lossiemouth to intercept Russian bombers flying over the North Sea.
In December last year, British military officials held talks with their counterparts in Moscow over “incursions” of Russian aircraft around the UK.
The talks were aimed at finding ways of heading off any “miscalculation or accident”.