RAF Typhoon jets scrambled to Russian aircraft flying near Scotland for THIRD time in a week
RAF Typhoons were this morning scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft flying near Scotland – for the third time in a week.
Two jets were launched from RAF Lossiemouth just after 9am following reports of two Russian planes travelling north of Stornoway.
They set off as part of the RAF's Quick Reaction Alert programme.
The Russian aircraft are used as strategic bombers and long-range maritime patrol planes.
It comes just a day after four RAF fighter jets were scrambled to intercept Russian bombers as they tried to enter British airspace.
Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, chief of the air staff, said: "These Russian bombers do not comply with international air traffic rules, are a hazard to airliners and are not welcome in our airspace."
He added that the RAF's action on Wednesday "ensured these Russian aircraft posed no hazard".
A spokesman for RAF Lossiemouth confirmed that "at no point did the aircraft enter our sovereign airspace."
On Saturday, six RAF fighter jets were scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft after they tried to enter British airspace.
The unidentified aircraft were tracked heading towards the north west coast of Scotland, prompting the air force to deploy three pairs of Typhoons.
Two pairs of Typhoons were dispatched from RAF Lossiemouth close to Moray in north-east Scotland, while the third flew from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
Flying in formation, two pairs approached the aircraft before withdrawing, while the third pair finished the job of forcing them to change course.
A Voyager tanker, the air-to-air refuelling aircraft – from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, was also deployed to support the mission.
The unidentified aircraft were later revealed to be Tupolev Tu-95 Bears – Russian aircraft used both as strategic bombers and long-range maritime patrol planes.
The total number of Russian aircraft involved in the incident has not been revealed.
An RAF spokesman said: "This was a routine response to Russian aircraft approaching UK air space and was coordinated with several other Nato allies."
The last time aircraft from Quick Reaction Alert were deployed to deter what were believed to be Russian military aircraft from UK airspace was August last year.
In April, Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth were scrambled twice in five days for the same reason.
Russia frequently uses its warplanes to intimidate the smaller country and test the strength of its response.
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