An archive photo of two Typhoons (Picture: Crown Copyright).
RAF Typhoons have scrambled to intercept six Russian bomber planes flying close to NATO airspace over the Black Sea, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.
The jets launched early Monday from their base in Romania after the Russian Su-24 Fencer planes were spotted, the RAF said in a statement.
It said there had been "significant Russian air activity through most of the night".
The Russian aircraft eventually turned towards Crimea, the RAF said.
The statement added that the operation "was in accordance with the NATO Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission, whereby the RAF operates alongside its NATO ally to deter Russian aggression, reassure our friends in Romania and assure NATO allies of our commitment to collective defence".
Romanian Defence Minister Mihai Fifor earlier said such "provocations" by Russia had become "frequent" in recent months.
Four RAF Typhoons have been deployed at the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base in southeast Romania where several hundred US troops are also stationed.
The move was part of NATO's increased defences on its eastern flank following Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014.
An RAF Spokesman said:
‘The RAF can confirm that 2 Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters based in Romania launched on 13 August in response to Russian aircraft operating near NATO airspace over the Black Sea. Once airborne the Typhoons monitored the aircraft at range, however, no visual interception took place’
RAF Typhoon pilots from 1 Squadron have deployed to Romania to provide the country with Quick Reaction Alert: