THIS is the moment when RAF Typhoons intercept Russian warplanes flying near NATO airspace in a tense standoff.
The RAF Typhoons took off from Amari Air Base in Estonia to visually identify several Russian aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea.
The Russian plane stayed in international airspace and flew “safely and provisionally,” according to the Royal Air Force.
Typhoon fighters, currently operating as part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission, have intercepted an An-72 COALER and two Su-27 FLANKER Bs.
The Typhoons returned to Amari Air Force Base to continue NATO’s air surveillance mission.
This came after an RAF Typhoon attempted to intercept a Russian fighter jet flying near Estonian airspace in March.
It was the first time that British and German air forces conducted a joint NATO air policing operation.
In the response, two British and German Typhoon jets responded to a Russian Il-78 air-to-air refueling aircraft between St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad
It was escorted after communication with Estonian air traffic control failed.
Allied fighters also intercepted an AN-148 aircraft from Russia.
After catching two Norway F-35s were quickly deployed to repel two Russian military aircraft – a MiG-31 and a NOR F-35 – in international airspace.
It came as British pilots joined forces with the German Luftwaffe to conduct joint air patrol missions in Estonia for the first time, as the UK prepared to lead NATO missions in the Russia-bordering country.
The Defense Ministry stressed the “routine” nature of the mission, but it comes amid tensions between the West and Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.
Army Secretary James Heappey said: “NATO continues to be the bedrock of our collective security.”
“This joint UK-German deployment in the Baltics is a clear demonstration of our shared determination to counter any potential threat to NATO’s borders, while demonstrating our combined strength.”
And a month later, on Friday April 14, the Royal Air Force intercepted a Russian spy plane and two fighter jets that were flying near NATO airspace.
The fighter jets were sent by the RAF and German Typhoons to protect the eastern flank of the NATO border near Estonia.
IX. Squadrons of the RAF and the Luftwaffe’s 71st “Richtofen” Squadron were sent to intercept the unidentified aircraft.
One of the aircraft was later identified as a Russian Air Force Il-20 Coot-A reconnaissance aircraft, which was en route from mainland Russia to the Kaliningrad enclave.
It was received by two Kaliningrad-based Russian Su-27 Flanker-B fighter jets, which escorted the spy plane through the north-west of Estonia’s flight information region.
The RAF said it was an important interception.
A pilot involved in the operation said: “We often see Russian military aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea and so this was a routine intercept for us.”
“Nevertheless, the importance of intercepting these aircraft and our commitment to the collective defense of NATO airspace remains steadfast and resolute.”
“This interception demonstrated our ability, together with our German allies, to act quickly and decisively to effectively ensure the security of the Alliance.”
The RAF and German Air Force have operated Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets as a joint force from Amari Air Base in Estonia.
This was just one of the joint interceptions conducted by the nations as part of the fulfillment of NATO’s Baltic air surveillance mission – Operation Azotize.
The combined force has been in action since March.
Tensions also arose on NATO’s common border with Russia after Finland joined the alliance in April.
The Nordic country was officially welcomed on April 4, occupying the block just 78 miles from Vladimir Putin’s hometown of St Petersburg.
Hours before the historic move, Russia warned that Belarusian military aircraft had been upgraded for nuclear strikes.
Moscow’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also warned that Finland’s entry into the military alliance and NATO’s efforts to increase its combat readiness would increase the risk of conflict.