Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets have interrupted a Russian maritime patrol aircraft’s path towards NATO airspace.
Launching from the Romanian Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base, the RAF Typhoons responded yesterday (August 23) to a Russian Be-12 heading south west over the Black Sea from Crimea. It’s the second time in a week that RAF jets, on NATO’s Air Policing mission, have been scrambled to deter provocative Russian aircraft and reassure Romania and NATO allies.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
Our commitment to NATO and European security is unwavering. Whether in the skies over the Black Sea and the Baltic, or on the ground in Estonia our actions send a clear message – we are collectively ready to respond to any act of aggression and will support our Eastern European allies to deter any threats faced.
1 (Fighter) Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, is deployed to Romania as part of the NATO ‘Enhanced Air Policing’ mission, where assistance is provided to the Romanian Air Force’s own fleet of fast-jet aircraft.
A Typhoon pilot from 1(Fighter) Squadron, attached to 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) and on Quick Reaction Alert duty when the scramble was called said:
“We launched in response to a Russian Be-12 aircraft that was manoeuvring over the Black Sea. It is exactly what the RAF has been brought to Romania to do and it felt great to have been able to contribute towards the mission.”