RAF scrambles jets over Russian aircraft

RAF scrambles jets over Russian aircraft

RAF scrambles jets over Russian aircraft

RAF fighter jets have caught Russian aircraft flying towards North Atlantic Treaty Organisation airspace for the second time this week.

The RAF Typhoons scrambled from Mihail Kogalniceanu air base in Romania on Thursday in response to a Russian Be-12 plane which was heading southwest over the Black Sea from Crimea, the ministry said.

The RAF mission in Romania is part of NATO's Assurance Measures introduced in 2014.

About 150 United Kingdom personnel are stationed at the Mihail Kogalniceanu base.

Tensions are high in the region since Moscow's 2014 takeover and illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, a move that led to Western sanctions being imposed against Russian Federation.

1 (Fighter) Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, Moray, has been operating alongside the Romanian Air Force from the base near Constanta since April.

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It was the RAF's fifth such incident involving Russian aircraft since the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission began.

The ministry said the Typhoons launched when two suspected Russian Su-30 Flanker aircraft appeared to be heading toward North Atlantic Treaty Organisation airspace from Crimea.

On Wednesday, the Royal Air Force said Typhoons intercepted two Russian Sukhoi Su-30 Flanker fighter aircraft flying over the Black Sea.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson stressed the UK's commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and European security.

"We are collectively ready to respond to any act of aggression and will support our allies from Eastern Europe to prevent any threats", British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson commented on the incident.

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