Fighter jets were scrambled to monitor two Russian bombers which threatened to enter UK airspace near Shetland.
The RAF launched quick reaction alert Typhoons from its base at Lossiemouth, on the north Scottish coast, earlier today (Wednesday) to monitor the Russian aircraft.
The Tu-142 ‘BEAR-F’ had approached from the northeast, flying in international airspace over the Norwegian and North seas.
Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff said: “These Russian bombers are relics of the Cold War, do not comply with international air traffic regulations and are a hazard to civilian and military aircraft.
“Despite the global pandemic, the Royal Air Force and our allies continue to ensure Russian military flights pose no threat to Nato and UK airspace.”
The operation also saw a Voyager aircraft launched from RAF Brize Norton, to provide air to air refuelling support.
Further support came in the form of Norwegian F-16s and F-35s and a Nato E-3A Airborne Early Warning aircraft, which was re-tasked while operating west of Shetland to enhance radar coverage in the area.
One of the RAF’s quick reaction alert pilots, who intercepted the Russian aircraft said: “Today’s scramble demonstrated the close working relationships we have with our Nato colleagues.
“After scrambling to intercept the two Russian aircraft, we were in close contact with battle space managers from the RAF and Norway, who directed s towards the aircraft and relayed orders throughout, ensuring we could confirm where they were and what they were doing at all times
Although the Russian aircraft operated in the UK’s “area of interest” they did not enter UK sovereign airspace.
• The images were taken during a previous scramble of a similar nature.