RAF Typhoons Scrambled To Intercept Russian Aircraft Over Estonia

The Russian IL-76 military transport aircraft was flying close to Estonian airspace.

The RAF escorted the Russian IL-76 near Estonian airspace (Picture: MOD).

Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets operating from Amari Air Base in Estonia have intercepted a Russian transport aircraft.

The IL-76 was flying close to Estonian airspace on Sunday 28 July.

A Typhoon pilot from XI (Fighter) Squadron, attached to 121 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW), was conducting Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duty when the scramble was called.

He said: "We were scrambled to intercept an aircraft that was approaching Estonian airspace from the south. 

"We identified and monitored it as it transited close to NATO airspace. 

"This is standard protocol for aircraft that might not be communicating with Air Traffic Control or on a recognised flight plan.

"We continued to escort the transport aircraft as it transited in a north direction, away from Estonian airspace."

The Royal Air Force is deployed on Operation AZOTIZE in Estonia in support of Baltic Air Policing.

This latest incident is the 14th QRA scramble and intercept since the RAF took over enhanced Air Policing (eAP) from the German Air Force on 3 May 2019 as part of Baltic Air Policing.