On January 15, a pair of Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters on quick reaction alert (QRA) were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland to monitor two Russian Tu-160 bombers approaching UK airspace. According to the Ministry of Defence, the Russian bombers were not talking to air traffic control, making them a hazard to all other aviation.
The RAF worked with NATO partners to monitor the jets as they passed through a variety of international airspace, before they were intercepted by the RAF over the North Sea. The RAF Typhoons escorted the Russian Blackjacks north, out of the UK’s area of interest. At no time did the Russian bombers enter UK sovereign airspace.
In a statement, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The threats this country faces are intensifying and we will not hesitate in defending our skies from acts of aggression. Our excellent RAF tracked the Russian aircraft every step of the way, and they continue to police UK and international airspace every hour of every day, to help keep the British people safe.”