RAF Typhoon scramble in response to Russian aircraft
over the Black Sea
A Royal Air Force Typhoon based in
Romania has been launched as a response to Russian aircraft operating near NATO
airspace over the Black Sea.
Operating from the Romanian Mihail
Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta on the Black Sea coast,
the RAF Typhoon responded to Russian Federation Air Force TU-22 Backfire strategic
bombers heading south near NATO air space.
The Russian military jets were flying
over the western Black Sea and were monitored by the Typhoon in accordance with
the NATO Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission the RAF are conducting in Romania. The Tupolevs were tracked as they departed
south but the jets did not come within visual range of each other.
Previously NATO’s Air Surveillance and
Control System had detected several tracks of non-NATO military aircraft flying
over the Black Sea, which were later identified as the two Russian jets. The NATO Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC)
at Torrejon Spain, ordered a RAF Typhoon jet to scramble and shadow the Russian
jets flying in international airspace in the vicinity of NATO airspace.
Wing Commander Lewis Cunningham, Officer
Commanding 3(F) Squadron said “It worked as we would have expected it to. We
took down the details, ran to the aircraft and I took off within the prescribed
timeline.” He added: “It’s satisfying. We spotted that there was something
happening and then very quickly the ‘phone call came and we were running out of
The RAF mission in Romania is part of
NATO’s Assurance Measures introduced in 2014. At the time, the Alliance
started implementing these Assurance Measures with the goal to demonstrate the
collective resolve of Allies, demonstrate the defensive nature of NATO and
deter the threat of Russian aggression against NATO Allies.
Andrew Coe, Commanding Officer of 135 Expeditionary Air Wing based in Romania
said: “This was a routine operation and is no different to what NATO aircraft
do in other areas on a regular basis”.
He added; “The RAF have a long tradition and experience of conducting
such activities in the UK and it is a normal peacetime activity to monitor
flights in airspace of interest”.
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