RAF fighters intercept Russian military aircraft off Scottish coast

RAF jets intercepted a Russian plane flying close to Scottish airspace on Sunday, Britain’s warfare and space force said today.

The Russian Tupolev Tu-142 Tupolev, a reconnaissance aircraft, was spotted flying over the seas just north of Scotland on Sunday.

RAF Lossiemouth and Typhoons fighters were scrambled to intercept the plane, informally known by its NATO-code name of Bear, as it zoomed along international airspace.

According to the RAF, the Tu-142 approached from the northeast and flew through the Norwegian Sea and North Atlantic Ocean.

The craft at no point entered British sovereign airspace; a Norwegian F-35A fighter aircraft was also scrambled to shepherd the Russian jet.

The Norwegian plan was sent as part of typical NATO protocol when it comes to responding to Russian aircraft.

While the RAF shadowing the Russian aircraft was business as usual, being called a quick reaction alert that has taken place since the Cold War.

The Typhoons were supported by a Voyager aircraft from RAF Brize Norton that provided additional air-to-air refuelling support.

The National Air and Space Operations Centre at RAF High Wycombe and the Air Surveillance and Control System at RAF Boulmer also provided command and control.

Four similar Russian aircraft were intercepted in February last year as tensions between Kremlin and Kyiv flared.

One of the pilots said the Sunday scramble ‘demonstrated the close working relationships we have with our NATO colleagues’.

‘After scrambling to intercept the Russian aircraft, we were in close contact with RAF Battlespace Managers, who directed us towards the aircraft and relayed orders throughout, ensuring we could confirm where they were and what they were doing at all times,’ they added.

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