RAF jets have intercepted two Russian 'Blackjack' aircraft over the North Sea

The aircraft were escorted out of the 'UK area of interest'

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The Independent Online

Royal Air Force jets have intercepted two Russian aircraft flying over the North Sea, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The two “Blackjack” jets were international airspace but were described as being in a “UK area of interest”.

Typhoon aircraft were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and escorted the Russian planes away.

A statement from the MoD read: “RAF Quick Reaction Alert fighter aircraft scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland yesterday to meet two Russian aircraft.

The Eurofighter Typhoon, used by the RAF

“The Typhoon pilots visually identified the two Russian aircraft and escorted them whilst in the UK area of interest.”

In recent months Russian and Nato jets have stepped up patrols over the North Sea and Baltic. It is increasingly common for aircraft to fly close to the airspace of other nations in order to test defence response times.

Squadron Leader Jim Calvert of II(AC) Squadron, who flew one of the RAF Typhoons involved in the mission, said:


“Given the Royal Air Force's enduring commitment to secure the UK's skies, yesterday's sortie once again proved Typhoon's capability to successfully scramble and intercept Russian long-range aviation.

“Protecting our skies is especially poignant in this 75th anniversary year of the Battle of Britain.

“Working together with ground-based radar and air-to-air refuelling aircraft today's RAF continues to come together as a team to protect our country.”

Additional reporting by PA