An RAF fighter jet has been sent to intercept a Russian aircraft in the Baltic Sea, in a further indication of simmering tensions between the West and Moscow.
A tweet by the BlueSky account claimed the Typhoon jet was shadowing a TU-214SR bomber, sometimes dubbed “the Doomsday machine” – describing the situation as a “possible intercept”.
BlueSky also shared a map showing the Typhoon, also known as a Eurofighter, heading for the Russian plane, over the sea approximately 30 miles north of the Estonian capital of Talinn.
The Ministry of Defence last month announced RAF Typhoon fighters providing Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) aircraft for the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission in Estonia have been scrambled to respond to Russian aircraft 21 times in the last 21 days.
The Typhoons, from RAF Lossiemouth-based number 1 (Fighter) Squadron, have been operating out of Amari Air Base since March as part of the UK’s leading contribution to NATO.
Baltic air policing is currently delivered by the RAF, based in Estonia, alongside the Portuguese and Romanian Air Forces based in Lithuania.
Aircraft have included fighter aircraft (Su-27M FLANKER B, Su-30SM FLANKER H), VIP and other transport aircraft (Tu-134 CRUSTY, An-72 COALER, An-12 CUB), intelligence collection aircraft (Il-20 COOT A) and long-range bombers (Tu-22M BACKFIRE).
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “These intercepts are a stark reminder of the value of collective defence and deterrence provided by NATO.
“The RAF has operated alongside our allies over the last three weeks to ensure both member states and our partner nations are protected, and they can be assured of our ongoing commitment to strengthening European security alongside those who share our values.”
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