RAF Intercepts Russian Fighters Over Baltic


Saint Petersburg: Amidst the strained relation between Russian and NATO over the former’s annexation of Crimea, the British Royal Air Force had intercepted score of Russian jets over the Baltic airspace.

RAF quick reaction Typhoon jets intercepted 10 Russian military aircraft during a single sortie last week the Ministry of Defence has disclosed. The RAF fighters from 6 (Fighter) Squadron were launched from their airfield in Estonia after multiple groups of aircraft were spotted by Nato air defences in international airspace near to the Baltic States.

Once airborne, the RAF jets identified the aircraft as four Fullback Sukhoi Su-34 fighters, four Foxhound Mikoyan MiG-31 fighters and two Curl Antonov An26 transport aircraft.

The Russian planes appeared to be carrying out routine training, but the incident comes amid heightened tensions in the Baltic states in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea.

The Russian aircraft were monitored by the RAF Typhoons and escorted on their way, the Ministry of Defence said.

Michael Fallon, secretary of state for defence, said: "Once more the RAF and our state of the art Typhoon fighters have demonstrated our commitment to NATO’S collective defence. Air interceptions such as this highlight the vital importance of the UK’s contribution to the Baltic Air Policing mission and demonstrate our collective resolve to protect Nato airspace alongside our allies.”