RAF Typhoons Scramble from UK and Estonia to Intercept Russian Aircraft
(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued August 08, 2019)
The Typhoon fighter jets demonstrated the sizable scope of the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) contribution to European security after scrambling from two locations in two separate incidents on the same day.
RAF Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Typhoon fighter aircraft scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth, with an RAF Voyager from RAF Brize Norton, to monitor two Russian Bear maritime patrol aircraft approaching UK airspace.
Meanwhile Typhoons deployed on NATO Baltic Air Policing also scrambled from Amari airbase to intercept a Russian Bear bomber and two Flanker fighter aircraft flying close to Estonian airspace.
UK QRA launch
The QRA launch from RAF Lossiemouth took place after the two Russian patrol aircraft flew close to the international airspace of the UK’s fellow NATO Allies. A co-ordinated response allowed Allies to monitor the aircraft until the RAF intercepted them.
Our fighters escorted them from the UK’s area of interest and ensured that they did not enter either UK sovereign airspace. The intercept and monitoring was completed in international airspace throughout and conducted in a safe and professional manner.
The RAF routinely identify, intercept and escort Russian aircraft that transit international airspace. Russian aircraft frequently attempt to test NATO’s level of readiness, as well as conduct intelligence-gathering missions. The rapid reaction of the RAF and by NATO allies serves as a reminder of NATO’s cohesion and its ability to react.
In the UK, the RAF Typhoon and Voyager aircraft are held at a state of readiness every day, supported by engineering and airspace management personnel.
The lead RAF pilot of the Typhoons that intercepted the Russian aircraft said: “Protecting NATO and UK airspace is what the RAF is here for, so today’s mission gave us the opportunity to demonstrate that we will always police our area of interest and also how well trained the Typhoon force is for dealing with events like this.”
Estonia QRA launch
The RAF Typhoons deployed on NATO Baltic Air Policing in Estonia intercepted a Russian TU-95 ‘Bear’ Bomber, heading west close to Estonian airspace. The Typhoons then handed the escort over to Finish and Swedish QRA aircraft, before being tasked to re-intercept to maintain the escort of the TU-95 as its transited close to NATO airspace. The “Bear” had since been accompanied by two Russian SU-30 ‘Flanker’ fighters.
This is a routine NATO mission for the Typhoons which provides reassurance that the UK is here to work in partnership with Estonia.
A Typhoon pilot from XI(Fighter) Squadron, attached to 121 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW), was conducting Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duty when the scramble was called.
He said: “We were scrambled to intercept a Russian TU-95 aircraft, routing west close to Estonian airspace. We then handed over the escort to our Finish and Swedish partners, as the aircraft continued West. We were then tasked to re-intercept and escort the TU-95 ‘Bear’ which has since been joined by two SU-30 ‘Flanker’’. These Russian aircraft transiting the Baltic region were not on a recognised flight plan or communicating with Air Traffic Control. The intercept was uneventful and conducted in a professional manner throughout.”
The Royal Air Force is deployed on Operation AZOTIZE in Estonia in support of Baltic Air Policing.
This is the seventeenth QRA scramble resulting in an intercept since the RAF took over enhanced Air Policing (eAP) from the German Air Force on 3 May 2019 as part of Baltic Air Policing. The UK operates in support of NATO to reassure our allies and is a further demonstration of the UK’s commitment to the security of the region.
Elsewhere around the world RAF Typhoon jets are also deployed in the Falklands Islands on QRA missions, as well as operating in the Middle East on Operation SHADER.
NORAD Intercepts Two Russian Bomber Aircraft Entering Air Defense Identification Zone
(Source: NORAD; issued August 08, 2019)
PETERSON AFB, Colo. --- Two F-22 and two CF-18 fighter aircraft supported by an E-3 Sentry, a KC-135 Stratotanker and a C-130 Tanker from the North American Aerospace Defense Command positively identified and intercepted two Tu-95 Bear H bombers in the Alaskan and Canadian Air Defense Identification Zones on August 8th, 2019.
The Russian aircraft remained in international airspace in the Beaufort Sea and at no time did the aircraft enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace.
NORAD employs a layered defense network of radars, satellites, and fighter aircraft to identify aircraft and determine the appropriate response. The identification and monitoring of aircraft entering a U.S. or Canadian ADIZ demonstrates how NORAD executes its aerospace warning and aerospace control missions for the United States and Canada.
“NORAD’s top priority is defending Canada and the United States. NORAD operators identified and intercepted the Russian aircraft flying near our nations,” said General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, the NORAD Commander. “Whether responding to violators of restricted airspace domestically or identifying and intercepting foreign military aircraft, NORAD is on alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
Operation NOBLE EAGLE is the name given to all air sovereignty and air defense missions in North America. NORAD is a binational command focused on the defense of both the U.S. and Canada, the response to potential aerospace threats does not distinguish between the two nations, and draws on forces from both countries.