RAF

PM's Union Flag RAF Voyager Deployed In Support Of Fighter Jets

The 'Vespina' aircraft was deployed after two Russian bombers were found operating in NATO's northern air policing area.

Boris Johnson’s Union flag-decorated jet has been deployed on a mission over the North Sea.

The RAF Voyager 'Vespina' aircraft was deployed from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, after Typhoon fighter jets were deployed from RAF Leuchars in Fife on a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) on Monday.

Two Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack bombers were operating in NATO's northern air policing area, off the west coast of Norway, the Royal Air Force said.

Two Royal Norwegian Air Force F-16 fighter jets intercepted the Russian aircraft, while a NATO E-3A Sentry airplane was re-tasked to provide airborne surveillance.

When the bombers flew south towards UK airspace, RAF Typhoons were launched. The Blackjacks turned north, but the Typhoons remained nearby as the intentions of the Russian aircraft were unknown.

The Voyager aircraft was launched to provide air-to-air refuelling for the Typhoons.

It is the second RAF QRA scramble in three days, following an interception of two Russian aircraft off the coast of Scotland on Saturday.

The RAF Voyager 'Vespina' aircraft, which was deployed from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire (Picture: RAF).

Air Officer Commanding 11 Group, Air Vice-Marshal Ian Duguid, said: "We continue to work closely with all of our NATO allies to defend our nations and to deter potential aggressors."

The Voyager appeared to travel towards Shetland before looping back down south.

The RAF jet, which was previously grey, underwent a makeover worth around £900,000 earlier this year.

Despite the makeover, the aircraft continues to conduct air-to-air refuelling missions for the RAF and maintains its military interior.

Cover image: Library photo of the Union-flag decorated RAF Voyager (Picture: RAF).