RAF Typhoon fighter jets scrambled to intercept Russian planes in UK airspace

RAF ALERT RAF Typhoon fighter jets scrambled to intercept Russian planes approaching UK

Typhoon fighters in standoff with Russian planes off the coast of Scotland this morning

RAF jets have been scrambled this morning to intercept Russian planes approaching UK airspace.

RAF Typhoon fighter jets have been scrambled to intercept Russian planes in UK airspace this morning.

They took off from RAF Lossiemouth, off the coast of Scotland, at 9.30am – and the situation is understood to be ongoing.

The RAF refused to disclose any further details for operational reasons but radar images appear to suggest that two Typhoon jets are accompanied by an RAF Voyager plane from RAF Brize Norton which can provide air-to-air refuelling capabilities.

The type of Russian planes involved is unknown but the incident appears to be currently be taking place at around 28,000ft off the east coast of Scotland.

French and Belgian air forces are also understood to also have been scrambled.

A spokesman said: “We can confirm that quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth scrambled this morning, this is a live operation and therefore we will not be providing any additional information until the mission is complete.”

The encroachment into UK airspace is thought to be one of the latest in a series of deliberate provocations by Moscow who routinely like to test UK defences.

The RAF Typhoon jets – which have been in use since 2007 and replaced the ageing Tornado fleet – have been used to target ISIS strongholds, with their pilots often enduring eight hour missions over Iraq and Syria.

They are armed with air-to-air missiles and are an integral part of the RAF’s Quick Reaction Alert.

The Typhoons are notorious for their sonic boom – which can be heard for miles when their pilots need to get somewhere within minutes when authorised to fly at supersonic speeds.

Last month Typhoons were scrambled to “intercept” PM Theresa May’s plane in an awesome test – and display – of British firepower.

MirrorOnline reported how a pair of 1,500mph Typhoon fighter jets thundered into the sky before pulling alongside the Prime Minister’s Voyager plane to tip their wings and flash their lethal missiles.

Amid mounting tensions with Moscow, Mrs May agreed to her aircraft being used for the mock mission, which helps pilots train for real sorties protecting British airspace from Russian bombers.

She watched the fearsome show of force from the cockpit of her Voyager, seeing first hand how the UK’s Quick Reaction Alert jets challenge suspected hijacked planes and Kremlin aircraft threatening British airspace.

The Eurofighter Typhoons roared away from their base at RAF Coningsby, Lincs, before pilots spotted the PM’s plane at 17,000ft above the North Sea.

The airmen – who are on standby round the clock – drew alongside the Voyager and tipped their wings, as they would in a real emergency, to display the fighter aircraft’s deadly air-to-air weapon systems.

The £100million Typhoons then hooked up to the Airbus Voyager’s refuelling lines for a tank top-up in a delicate 320mph mid-air operation at “Area 8” off the Norfolk coast.

They were each pumped with four tonnes of fuel at 600kg a minute just feet away from the Voyager.

The planes from 3 Squadron and 11 Squadron were taking advantage of the A330’s dual role as a “flying petrol station”, filling up with extra juice before disconnecting and peeling away with their afterburners ablaze.

The training sortie also helped readied crew for eight-hour patrols over ISIS-held territory where they refuel several times.

Mrs May said later: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity today to see our brave pilots and crew in action refuelling in the air to prepare to fight Daesh (ISIS) over Syria and Iraq.

“Witnessing the unique skill of the RAF at first hand is an absolute privilege and once again demonstrates that the British Armed Forces are the finest in the world.

“The work they do is admirable and impressive and I want to take this opportunity to thank them for everything they do.”

An RAF crew member who saw the PM watching the high altitude manoeuvres, said: “She seemed pretty happy.”

Mrs May was first offered the possibility of witnessing the impressive double spectacle during a flight to Brussels earlier in December.

She backed the move, which added an hour to her journey home from Cyprus after she made a surprise Christmas visit to British airbase, RAF Akrotiri.

As well as watching the skill of UK airmen up close and studying Government papers in her ministerial red box, the PM also indulged her hobby of Sudoku during the flight to Heathrow.

But sadly for Mrs May, she did not have time to read the book, The Incredible Crime, she had brought for the journey.

So what do you think?

Tell us in the comments.

Source : https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5342254/typhoon-scrambled-intercept-russian-planes-uk/
Source : http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/raf-typhoon-fighter-jets-scrambled-11854118

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