RAF Typhoons Scrambled to Intercept Two Russian Tu-142 “Bear F” Aircraft Close to UK Airspace
Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon fighter jets were scrambled this morning to intercept two Russian Tu-142 “Bear F” anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol aircraft operating over the North Sea near UK airspace.
The Typhoons, which were launched from RAF Lossiemouth shortly before 8am, were joined by an RAF Voyager tanker aircraft from RAF Brize Norton, which provided air-to-air refueling (AAR) support for the Typhoons.
The Typhoons shadowed the two Russian Bears and closely monitored their movements. An RAF statement said that the shadowing is “to deter this provocative activity and mitigate the risks associated with Russian military aircraft flying in this busy international airspace”.
The Voyager tanker remained on mission to provide air-to-air refueling for the Typhoons. “If the situation develops or another potential threat emerges, the Voyager’s ability to refuel Typhoons mid-flight increases their endurance so that they can redeploy and intercept further targets”, said the RAF statement.
The incident concluded by early afternoon, with the Typhoons returning to RAF Lossiemouth and the Voyager returning to RAF Brize Norton. The RAF statement noted that the aircraft were quickly returned to a state of readiness, available to respond to other potential threats to the United Kingdom, 24/7/365.
Other NATO allies also launched their Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) assets to assist in monitoring the Russian aircraft. Controllers from RAF Scampton coordinated the mission, liaising with NATO partners at the Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) in Uedem, Germany.