TWO RAF typhoons were scrambled to intercept a pair of Russian bombers off the coast of Scotland in the latest military standoff with Moscow.
The fighter jets took off from the Lossiemouth base in Scotland to monitor two Russian aircraft heading towards a UK “area of interest”.
The incident happened yesterday morning and joins a series of recent aerial stand-offs over the North Sea between the Royal Air Force and the Russian Air Force.
A Royal Air Force spokesman said: “RAF aircraft launched to monitor two Russian military aircraft as they approached the UK area of interest, however the aircraft turned away and no intercept took place.”
Once the RAF jets were airborne both Russian planes turned away.
A Voyager aircraft was also sent from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire to refuel the jets as they guarded British airspace over the North Sea.
“The aircraft turned away and no intercept took place” RAF
RAF Typhoon pilots are occasionally given permission to fly at supersonic speeds to reach the aircraft as soon as possible.
Ministry of Defence figures show that Quick Reaction Alert crews – like yesterday’s response – were launched 12 times in 2015.
The RAF and Royal Navy have been frequently called on to monitor Russian planes and warships in recent years.
The incident is another episode in the confrontation with the forces of Putin over the North sea.
In January, Type 23 frigate HMS St Albans was deployed to “man mark” the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.
The Kuznetsov had previously passed through the Channel last autumn on its way to the Mediterranean and was escorted by Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan and Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond.
And in February, Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Coningsby were sent to check on two Russian blackjack bombers.
The strategic bombers were followed by the RAF as they arrived from northeast of Britain and passed to the west of Ireland, over the Bay of Biscay and then turned back to Russian territory.