British and German fighters have intercepted a Russian plane near Estonian airspace
British and German fighter jets jointly intercepted a Russian airliner near Estonian airspace on Tuesday, the British Ministry of Defense said.
Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon fighters from the 140 Expeditionary Air Wing cooperated with German Typhoon fighters to escort a Russian IL78 Midas refueling aircraft, the Ministry of Defense said.
“A pair of Typhoon aircraft were mobilized following IL78 Midas flying between St Petersburg and Kaliningrad and failing to contact air traffic control at Esconia. After successful visual identification and escort, the pair of Typhoons were redeployed to intercept the AN148 passenger aircraft en route through Estonian airspace,” the statement said. The report said.
Although these types of intercepts are a routine NATO mission, this was the first joint interception by NATO Air Police and a German Air Force Typhoon.
“Any aircraft that does not communicate with air traffic control or is not on an approved flight plan, we intercept and we confirm who they are and maintain aviation safety for all airspace users. As a fighter pilot, you “It’s a routine matter. , even though I was flying with a German colleague. It was clear that all our training and hard work worked together seamlessly,” said an RAF Typhoon pilot from 140 Expeditionary Air Wing the RAF.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the RAF was sent to Estonia to carry out “Operation Assotise”, NATO’s long-running aerial surveillance mission in the Baltic region. The German Air Force oversaw the mission in March, and the RAF took over in April. The joint work between the two countries will continue till the end of April.
Following the interception, British Armed Forces Secretary James Heappy described NATO as “the bedrock of our collective defence” and said “this joint UK-German Baltic deployment clearly demonstrates our collective determination to overcome any potential threat to NATO’s borders”.
“It’s fantastic to see British and German elements working as a team. Today shows us the next evolution as NATO continues to evolve its structures and strengths,” said RAF 140 Expeditionary Air Wing Commander, Scott McCall.