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RAF Typhoon jets intercept Russian bombers flying north of Scotland | UK News

RAF Typhoon jets intercepted Russian bombers flying north of Scotland in the early hours of this morning, the UK government has said.

Typhoon fighters were scrambled to intercept two Russian long-range maritime patrol bombers as they transited near the Shetland Islands within NATO’s northern air policing area, the government added.

The jets were launched from RAF Lossiemouth, located in north-east Scotland, and the two Russian bombers were monitored in international airspace as they flew north of the UK.

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A Voyager refuelling tanker was also launched and remained airborne for the duration of the mission – which was not specified by the Ministry of Defence – to offer air-to-air refuelling to the Typhoon fighters if needed.

Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, said: “RAF crews at Lossiemouth maintain a constant watch over UK airspace and are always ready to take action at a moment’s notice to keep our country safe.

“Pilots launched in their Typhoon jets to intercept two Russian long-range bombers this morning, monitoring them as they passed north of the Shetland Islands, ready to counter any potential threat to UK territory.”

An RAF Typhoon and a refuelling plane. Pic: MOD
An RAF Typhoon and a refuelling plane. Pic: MOD

The lead RAF Typhoon pilot added: “It’s really satisfying to know we’ve been able to make a successful intercept, maintaining the integrity of UK and NATO airspace.

“When the alarm for a scramble happened in the early hours of the morning, the adrenaline kicked in. Working in tandem with ground control operators, and with air-to-air refuelling from an RAF Voyager, we were able to stay on task until the mission was complete, and the target aircraft departed the UK’s area of interest.”

When Russian jets enter airspace controlled by the UK, they can often be a danger to other aircraft because they do not talk to air traffic control, and nor do they “squawk” with their code to let other air users know they are there.

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