RAF jets intercept Russian war planes 29 times in 3 years


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Typhoon fighter jets have been scrambled to intercept Russian military planes almost 30 times in the past three years, the Government said tonight.

RAF Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) aircraft were launched eight times last year, 10 times in 2011 and 11 times in 2010 after Russian military aircraft approached or entered the Nato air policing airspace which the United Kingdom patrols.

The Ministry of Defence said that at no time did the Russian planes breach UK airspace.

In a written Parliamentary answer, Defence Minister Andrew Robathan added: "Not every launch resulted in an interception as some incidents were resolved prior to interception."

The figures were released to SNP MP Angus Robertson (Moray).

Britain's QRA jets are based at RAF Leuchars and RAF Coningsby.

Mr Robathan said he could not reveal where each jet was directed because this could damage the "capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces".