The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has released details of a Russian military aircraft that was operating near United Kingdom airspace.
According to the RAF, a Russian Tu-142 Maritime Patrol aircraft, known by the NATO code name as a Bear-F, neared UK airspace on April 30, 2023.
The Tu-142 approached from the North-East and flew in international airspace over the Norwegian Sea and North Atlantic Ocean.
Typhoon fighter jets from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland were scrambled, as were Norwegian F-35A military jets from Norway.
Additional air to air refueling support was provided by a RAF Voyager aircraft from Brize Norton, alongside command and control from the National Air and Space Operations Centre at RAF High Wycombe and the Air Surveillance and Control System at Boulmer.
“Today’s scramble demonstrated the close working relationships we have with our NATO colleagues,” an unnamed RAF Typhoon pilot explained. “After scrambling to intercept the Russian aircraft, we were in close contact with RAF Battlespace Managers, who directed us towards the aircraft and relayed orders throughout, ensuring we could confirm where they were and what they were doing at all times.”
The RAF and NATO have appeared keen to publicize recent interceptions by combined forces as part of Joint NATO Air Policing.
In March, missions were being led by the German Air Force before operations were handed over to the RAF to continue until the end of April.
On April 18, 2023, Eurofighter Typhoons from the IX (B) Squadron and the German Air Force’s 71 ‘Richtofen’ Wing were scrambled in eastern Europe after a number of unidentified aircraft had been detected close to NATO airspace.
It is understood that the Russian Air Force IL-20 Coot-A intelligence aircraft was travelling from mainland Russia to the Kaliningrad enclave over the Gulf of Finland and Baltic Sea.
It was joined by two Russian Sukhoi SU-27 Flanker-B fighter jets based in Kaliningrad, which escorted the Coot-A south through the north-west area of the Estonian flight information region.