RAF fighter jets intercepted a Russian aircraft near Estonia on Sunday, the British Ministry of Defence has said.
The Typhoon jets closed in on a Russian IL-76 military transport aircraft that was flying close to Estonian air space.
The RAF jets were operating from Amari Air Base in Estonia, the MoD said as it shared photographs of the mission.
On Sunday @RoyalAirForce Typhoon fighter jets operating from Ämari Air Base in Estonia launched to intercept a Russian IL-76 military transport aircraft that was flying close to Estonian airspace #WeAreNato https://t.co/5aeytFNmRC pic.twitter.com/1hFJM6DHR9
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) July 30, 2019
“This is standard protocol for aircraft that might not be communicating with air traffic control or on a recognised flight plan.”
The pilot, from XI (Fighter) Squadron, attached to 121 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW), added: “We continued to escort the transport aircraft as it transited in a north direction, away from Estonian air space.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “As this latest quick reaction alert (QRA) demonstrates, the RAF are frequently called upon to use their world-class skills and capabilities to help police and protect the skies over the Baltics.”
The RAF is deployed on Operation Azotize in Estonia in support of Baltic air policing.
It was the 14th QRA scramble and intercept since the RAF took over enhanced air policing from the German Air Force on May 3 as part of Baltic air policing.