RAF Typhoons Intercept Russian Bombers Near UK Airspace

The live-armed fighter jets were scrambled from Leuchars Station in Fife on Wednesday.

Royal Air Force Typhoons have intercepted and turned away two Russian bombers as they approached UK airspace.

The pair of Tu-160 Blackjack airplanes were initially detected by NATO air defence radars on Wednesday, before Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) fighters from the Royal Norwegian Air Force, Luftforsvaret F-16s from Bodø Airbase, met and shadowed them as they headed south.

As the Blackjacks neared the UK area of interest, a Voyager was launched from RAF Brize Norton, and RAF QRA Typhoons scrambled from their temporary home at Leuchars Station in Fife, Scotland.

One of the RAF Typhoon pilots involved in the mission said: "We worked closely with units from around the Royal Air Force to deliver another successful intercept, maintaining the safety and integrity of UK and NATO airspace throughout.

"The Control and Reporting Centre at RAF Scampton routed us directly to the Tu-160 Blackjacks so that we could take over the mission from our Norwegian allies.

"Air-to-air refuelling from an RAF Voyager ensured we were able to stay on task until the two Blackjacks departed from the UK’s area of interest," the Typhoon pilot added.

Returning north, the Blackjacks were handed back to the Luftforsvaret Q F-16s, while the Typhoons returned to their permanent home at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland.

Cover image: RAF.