Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter jets have shadowed Russian military aircraft flying over the North Sea.
The Tu-142 Bear F planes were detected near UK airspace on Saturday, prompting the RAF to scramble Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.
The RAF says the Tu-142 Bear F aircraft are used for anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol and it is “essential” to carefully monitor their movements in close proximity to the UK.
In a statement, the RAF added that the Russian military aircraft can be hazardous in the busy airspace over the North Sea, flying within “the UK Flight Information Region”.
The RAF Typhoons shadowed the planes to "deter this unprofessional activity and mitigate risks associated with Russian military aircraft flying in this busy international airspace", the RAF said.
A Voyager aircraft from RAF Brize Norton was deployed to provide air-to-air refuelling for the Typhoons, while NATO allies helped to monitor the movement of the Russian aircraft via the launch of “Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) assets”.
The mission was coordinated by controllers at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, who cooperated with NATO partners based at the Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem in Germany.
An RAF spokesperson said: "The QRA crew did a fantastic job, locating aircraft that were not easy to detect very quickly.
"Again, the RAF has scrambled to defend the interests of the UK and NATO. It demonstrates the efficiency and resilience of our personnel, aircraft and systems."
The incident concluded by early afternoon, the RAF said.
Cover image: Library picture of an RAF Typhoon taking off from RAF Lossiemouth (Picture: RAF).