The RAF scrambled Typhoon jets from an air base in Estonia today after a Russian aircraft was found flying close to the country’s airspace. In a statement posted on Twitter this evening, the air force said the jets were sent on a NATO mission from the Amari Air Base in Harjumaa following reports of the aircraft. Representatives said they identified a Soviet-era plane flying in the area during the Baltic Air Policing Mission.
The post said that the plane intercepted by RAF pilots was an Antonov An-26 “CURL”, a twin-engined turboprop transport aircraft used for both civilian and military purposes.
British planes have resided in Estonia since early April this year when the RAF posted units to the Amari base as part of a planned NATO rotation.
They have helped monitor the country’s airspace against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, with the latest round of patrols having begun on April 10 as part of Operation Azotize, which began in March.
An RAF jet carried out the first joint NATO Air Policing interception alongside a German Air Force Typhoon on Tuesday, March 14, following a scramble order for a similar incident.
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Two jets, both Typhoon models, intercepted a Russian air-to-air refuelling aircraft that flew close to the Estonian airspace.
The plane was identified as an IL78 Midas which was following an internal route in Russia from St Petersburg and Kaliningrad.
The scramble was called when it failed to communicate with Estonian air traffic officials.
Speaking following the earlier incident, a British pilot from IX (Bomber) Squadron said that any aircraft not communicating with air traffic controllers would be subject to monitoring.
He added that this was “routine”, and that he operated “seamlessly” with his German colleague.
The pilot said: “Any aircraft that are not communicating with Air Traffic Control or on a recognised flight plan will be intercepted by us to ensure we know who they are and maintain flight safety for all airspace users.
“As a fighter pilot, this was a routine business, even though I was flying alongside a German colleague.
“It is clear that all of our training and hard work paid off as we seamlessly operated together.”