RAF scrambles Typhoon jets from Lossiemouth in an ‘ongoing operation’ over Britain amid reports of airborne Russian bombers
- Two RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled from Lossiemouth in Scotland today
- They were seen flying south alongside a Voyager fueling tank
- It comes amid reports Russian bombers are airborne and near NATO airspace
RAF Typhoons have been scrambled this morning as part of an ‘ongoing operation’ amid reports of Russian activity.
Two fighters took off from RAF Lossiemouth this morning in Scotland before heading south alongside a Voyager fuel tanker.
The Ministry of Defence said the jets were responding to ‘unidentified aircraft’ and there have been reports Russian bombers are airborne.
A spokesman said: ‘Typhoon fighters from RAF Lossiemouth were scrambled today as a precautionary measure against unidentified aircraft approaching the UK area of interest.
RAF Typhoon jets have been scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland this morning amid reports of Russian bombers being airborne (file picture)
‘However, no intercept took place and the Typhoons subsequently recovered.’
It is understood the jets, which have a top speed of 1,400mph, are on ‘quick reaction’ duty for NATO, with the RAF frequently dispatching planes on interception missions.
The planes were scrambled at around 5.25am on the operation off the west coast of Scotland.
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Tensions between the UK and Russia have been mounting following the Novichok attacks in Salisbury, while the RAF has also intercepted Russian aircraft on patrol near the Black Sea.
Following a previous interception in September, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the UK would continue to defend its airspace vigorously.
Typhoon by numbers
- Engines: 2 Eurojet EJ200 turbojets
- Thrust: 20,000lbs each
- Max speed: 1.8Mach
- Length: 15.96m
- Max altitude: 55,000ft
- Span: 11.09m
- Aircrew: 1
- Armament: Paveway IV, AMRAAM, ASRAAM, Mauser 27mm Cannon, Enhanced Paveway II
He said: ‘Russian bombers probing UK airspace is another reminder of the very serious military challenge that Russia poses us today.
‘We will not hesitate to continually defend our skies from acts of aggression.’
Around 60 Nato jets, mainly from European allies, are currently on alert to defend alliance airspace, as NATO deals with a dramatic increase in Russian air activity on its borders since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
In 2016, there was a record 870 interceptions in the Baltics alone.
Russia has cranked up the pressure this summer, holding the huge ‘Vostok 2018’ wargames in the country’s eastern regions.
The Typhoons are on ‘quick reaction’ duty and the UK has frequently scrambled fighters to intercept Russian planes patrolling near UK airspace this year (file picture)
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