UK Typhoon Eurofighters intercept 5 Russian warplanes including Sukhoi Su-27B jets, TU-142 Bear Bomber near Estonia

Russian fighter jets, bombers and other military aircraft are keeping the Typhoon Eurofighters of the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force (RAF) very busy over the skies of Estonia and also near the Lithuanian airspace. On Monday (August 5, 2019) and Tuesday (August 6), RAF Typhoon Eurofighters intercepted five Russian military jets including two Sukhoi Su-27B fighters and a TU-142 Bear Bomber.

The Typhoons were scrambled from Ämari Air Base in Estonia where they are currently based as part of Operation AZOTIZE, the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission. The RAF fighters were scrambled on Monday to intercept a Russian Antonov AN-26 Curl transport aircraft and then later in the day a Russian TU-142 Bear Bomber and two Su-27B fighters were tracked following which the Typhoons were once again tasked with escorting aircraft.

A day later the Typhoons intercepted a Russian Tupolev TU-134 Crusty transport aircraft flying close to Estonian airspace. According to the RAF, the Russian military planes “transiting the Baltic region were not on a recognised flight plan or communicating with Air Traffic Control”.

“We were scrambled to intercept a Russian AN-26 aircraft routing west close to Estonian airspace. Once complete with this task, a second task was initiated to intercept a group of contacts operating to the south close to Lithuanian airspace. These aircraft transiting the Baltic region were not on a recognised flight plan or communicating with Air Traffic Control. In the end, the intercept was uneventful and conducted in a professional manner throughout,” said a Typhoon Eurofighter pilot from XI (Fighter) Squadron, attached to 121 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW). He was conducting Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duty when Monday’s scramble was called.

Sukhoi Su-27B

Monday and Tuesday’s incidents were the 15th and 16th QRA scrambles resulting in intercepts since the RAF took over enhanced Air Policing (eAP) from the German Air Force on May 3, 2019, as part of Baltic Air Policing.

UK’s Typhoons and Russia’s Sukhoi Su-30 had come face to face on June 14, 2019, and 15, while 10 days later the Eurofighter had a face-off with Su-27 jets. The RAF had also released photos of the Typhoons escorting the Su-30s on June 14 and 15.