Yesterday, Monday 15 January 2018, RAF Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Typhoon aircraft scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth to monitor two Russian strategic bombers approaching UK airspace.

The Russian Air Force Blackjack Tupolev Tu-160 long-range bombers were not talking to air traffic control, making them a hazard to all other aviation.

The RAF worked closely with NATO partners to monitor the jets as they passed through a variety of international airspace, before they were intercepted by the RAF in the North Sea. Subsequently, the Typhoon fighter jets escorted the Russian Blackjacks north, out of the UK’s area of interest. At no time did the Russian bombers enter UK sovereign airspace.

The RAF tracked the Russian aircraft every step of the way, and they continue to police UK and international airspace every hour of every day, to help keep the British people safe. The threats that UK faces are intensifying and they will not hesitate in defending own skies from acts of aggression.

RAF QRA – Quick Reaction Alert was launched because the Russian Military aircraft were not talking to air traffic agencies. The RAF routinely intercept, identify and escort Russian aircraft that transit international airspace within the UK’s area of interest and continue to be on call H24.

The flight lasted for more than 13 hours. During the flight, the Tu-160 bombers performed aerial refueling. The Russian aircraft were followed by the British Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets and the Belgian Air Force F-16 Falcon fighter jets. Escort support for long-range russian aircraft was carried out by the crews of MiG-31 fighter jets.

Russian Aerospace Forces’s long-range military aircraft regularly flies over the neutral waters of the Arctic, the North Atlantic, the Black and Caspian Seas, and the Pacific carrying out patrol flights in strict accordance with the International law and does violate the borders of other states, the Russian Defense Ministry stressed.

Source, video and photo credits: UK Ministry of Defence, Crown copyright

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