RAF typhoons intercept Russian aircraft in NATO airspace in an eighth meeting in six weeks
Dramatic moment RAF Typhoons intercept Russian fighter jet and transport aircraft in NATO airspace – their eighth meeting with Putin pilots over the Baltic states in six weeks
- RAF Typhoons jets had to be crossed twice over Russian planes in NATO airspace in one weekend
- The recordings bring the total number of interceptions of Putin's planes to eight in just six weeks in the Baltic states
- Both intercepts, which took place in NATO airspace near Estonia, were successfully completed
- RAF had taken over the Baltic Air Policing program (with regard to Estonia, Latvia, Lithunia) on 3 May
Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter jets had to be raced twice throughout the weekend to intercept Russian planes flying into NATO airspace.
Typhoons departed on Friday and Saturday from the Ämari airbase in Estonia after Quick Reaction Alerts (QRA) of observations of Russian aircraft.
This brings the total number of interceptions of Russian aircraft to eight from the RAF since taking over the Baltic Air Policing mission on May 3 this year.
On Friday, RAF crews in Estonia received a Quick Reaction Alert to intercept an SU-30 Flanker fighter aircraft (background) that had flown to northern Estonia
The first warning came on Friday evening as a call to respond to a Russian SU-30 fighter aircraft flying to northern Estonia.
But when the Typhoon pilot accompanied the fighter from Estonia, they encountered another military aircraft.
A Typhoon pilot from XI Squadron who was on duty at the time said: & # 39; We were able to intercept a contact close to Estonian airspace in the early evening, between two periods of bad weather.
The next day, RAF crew members intercepted a Russian SU-30 Flanker fighter (foreground) and an Ilyushin IL-76 Candid transport plane (background) flying northward from the Russian province of Kaliningrad towards Estonian and Finnish airspace
& # 39; Shortly after we were airborne, we passed an SU-30 Flanker fighter aircraft.
& # 39; We accompanied the fighter across the Baltic Sea, around Estonia, passing by a Russian military transport aircraft. & # 39;
The intersection has been successfully completed.
Crews then had to make a second scramble on Saturday, June 15, when another Russian SU-30 Flanker fighter and an Ilyushin IL-76 Candid transport plane flew to Estonian airspace.
The Russian SU-30 fighter, which has the NATO declaration name Flanker-C, was introduced to the Russian Air Force in 1996
The planes that were intercepted on Saturday were from Kaliningrad, a small Russian province wedged between Poland and Lithuania, separated from mainland Russia
The planes came from Kaliningrad, a small Russian province sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, which is separated from mainland Russia.
& # 39; We scribbled to intercept two contacts that approached Estonian airspace from the south.
& # 39; We accompanied the two planes for 15 minutes while returning to mainland Russia.
& # 39; We then transferred the responsibility to two Finnish QRA aircraft, which were also cross-linked when the Russian aircraft was operating on the airspace boundary between Estonia and Finland & # 39 ;, said a Typhoon pilot after completion of the intersection.
A Ministry of Defense spokesperson said that in both cases the aircraft was flown at a safe distance and operated professionally throughout the aircraft & # 39 ;.
The Royal Air Force is deployed on operation AZOTIZE in Estonia to support the NATO Baltic Air Policing program.
How the British and Russian aircraft counts
British RAF typhoon
Role: Jet fighter
Top speed: 1,381 mph
The cost per unit: £ 125 million
First flight: 1994
weapons: Mauser cannon, advanced short-range air-to-air missiles, Paveway II and Paveway IV precision-guided bombs
Russian Sukhoi SU-30
Role: Jet fighter
Top speed: 1,317mph
The cost per unit: £ 30 million
First flight: 1989
weapons: Can be armed with a machine gun, bombs, air-to-air missiles and supersonic anti-ship and land attack missiles
Russian Ilyushin IL-76
Role: Strategic air lifter
Top speed: 560mph
The cost per unit: Unknown
First flight: 1971
weapons: 2×23 mm cannon in radar-controlled manned turret at the base of the tail. Can also transport 500 kg of bombs
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