RAF Typhoon jets have been scrambled to intercept Russian jets over the Baltic Sea – for the second time in as many days.
They were sent from a base in Lithuania on Thursday to monitor the three Russian planes – an Il-20 COOT-A intelligence-gathering aircraft and two Su-27 Flanker B fighters.
It follows a similar incident on 2 June, which was the group’s first launch since being deployed as part of NATO’s Air Policing mission to deter any threats to members’ airspace.
The pilot said: “This mission was more complex, as there were more aircraft to manage of different types and flying at different speeds. We are always ready to react in support of the NATO mission.”
No more information was given about the nature of the flight being taken by the Russian jets.
Armed forces minister, James Heappey MP, said: “The UK’s commitment to NATO is as strong as ever. Our Typhoon Force is playing a key part in support of the alliance’s air policing operations and our friends in Lithuania.”
Air Vice Marshal Ian Duguid said: “Today saw the second RAF intercept of Russian aircraft over the Baltic.
“This remains routine activity, however, it must be stressed that the RAF as part of NATO are conducting these activities to ensure that all flights are conducted within internationally accepted aviation rules.
“When this does not happen NATO will intercept and investigate.
“I congratulate all of our deployed personnel in Lithuania for the professional way that they are conducting the mission in conjunction with our Lithuanian and Spanish Allies, they bring great credit to the service.”
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