Two Russian military aircraft intercepted by RAF Typhoons over the Baltic Sea

The Russian planes had approached Baltic airspace without sharing a flight plan

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Wednesday 10 June 2015 12:36
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A handout photo provided by the MoD an RAF 'Typhoon' jet (bottom) accompanying a Russian Ilyushin Il-20M 'Coot' electronic intelligence gathering aircraft over the Baltic, 08 June 2015
A handout photo provided by the MoD an RAF 'Typhoon' jet (bottom) accompanying a Russian Ilyushin Il-20M 'Coot' electronic intelligence gathering aircraft over the Baltic, 08 June 2015

Two Russian military aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea without sharing a flight plan have been intercepted and shadowed by RAF Tycoons.

The Typhoons were scrambled yesterday from the Amari Air base in Estonia after the Russian aircraft approached Baltic airspace.

One of the Russian planes was identified as an Il-20M “Coot,” a surveillance aircraft, while the other was described as an An-26 “Curl” transport plane flying north from Kaliningrad.

A handout photo provided by the MoD of a Russian Antonov AN-26 'Curl' aircraft photographed from an RAF 'Typhoon' jet over the Baltic, 08 June 2015

Flight Lieutenant Paul Griffin said the Typhoons had been given the “nod” and “the Estonian controllers hit the scramble button”.

“The Estonian controllers picked up the aircraft on their radar picture and evaluated whether it had a flight plan and its heading, height and speed. Once it was clear it was an unknown they gave it an appropriate identification colour which made it stand out on our radar scopes,” he said.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the interception of the Russian military aircraft by the UK’s RAF jets “underlines out commitment to Nato and the security of the Baltic region”.

“RAF air and ground grew are doing vital work to defend the skies above and around the Baltic States and I look forward to seeing that work first hand in the near future,” he said.

Four Typhoons were deployed to Amari last month to work with Norwegian aircraft, to patrol Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Fallon will be visiting the Baltic Air Policing detachment later this month.

Additional reporting by PA

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