UK
11/09/2015 13:57 BST | Updated 11/09/2015 18:59 BST

RAF Typhoon Jets Intercept Two Russian 'Blackjack' Aircraft That Strayed Near To UK Airspace

Typhoon jets from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland intercepted two Russian “Blackjack” aircraft on Thursday. According to the Ministry of Defence, the Russian planes did not enter UK airspace, but strayed into the "British area of interest."

tupolev tu160

A Tupolev-160 warplane, known as the 'Blackjack,' during a flight near the Engels air force base in the Saratov region of Russia

"RAF Quick Reaction Alert fighter aircraft scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland yesterday to meet two Russian aircraft," the RAF said in a statement. "The Typhoon pilots visually identified the two Russian aircraft and escorted them whilst in the UK area of interest."

Squadron Leader Jim Calvert of II Squadron, who flew one of the RAF Typhoons involved in the mission, said: "Given the Royal Air Force's enduring commitment to secure the UK's skies, yesterday's sortie once again proved Typhoon's capability to successfully scramble and intercept Russian long-range aviation.

He added: "Protecting our skies is especially poignant in this 75th anniversary year of the Battle of Britain. Working together with ground-based radar and air-to-air refuelling aircraft today's RAF continues to come together as a team to protect our country."