On Aug. 25, two Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon jets in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) at the Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base were scrambled to carry out VID (Visual Identification) on two Russian aircraft flying over the Black Sea in what was the third time the RAF jets have been scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft last week.
The Ministry of Defence said in a statement released on 25 August, that Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets have been launched in response to two Russian aircraft flying in NATO airspace.
“Launching from their Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, the Typhoons responded to a Russian AN-26 and then a Be-12 heading over the Black Sea. It’s the third time this week that RAF jets, on NATO’s Air Policing mission, have been scrambled to deter provocative Russian aircraft and reassure Romania and NATO allies,” – said in stetament.
Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was concerned that Royal Air Force fighter jets stationed in Romania “interrupted” a Russian aircraft over the Black Sea.
“Russian armed forces strictly comply with international law and pose no threat to Britain. One might understand why Royal Navy escorts Russian military ships in the English Channel, in the vicinity of the British coastline, even if this there is no need for the UK to publicise it. But what kind of threat to Britain or its allies does a Russian patrol aircraft hypothetically pose while conducting flights off Russia’s own shore, some 1500 miles away from the UK?,” said Russian Embassy Press Officer.
Russian Embassy also noted that Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and other British politicians who present such routine Russian activity as “provocative incidents”, are themselves behaving in a highly irresponsible manner.
“This latest episode aptly demonstrates how harmful is the very idea of deploying RAF and other NATO forces in Romania, Poland or Baltic states. Instead of strengthening anyone’s security, such military presence is being used by the British authorities for provocative actions of their own – not only through verbal statements, regrettable as they are but also in real military terms, which is simply dangerous,” – added in Embassy.
Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, is deployed to Romania as part of the NATO ‘Enhanced Air Policing’ mission, where assistance is provided to the Romanian Air Force’s own fleet of fast-jet aircraft.
Britain’s Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster, spoke about “an ever more assertive Russia” in a speech in London in July.
He said the RAF has had to scramble jets more than 80 times over the last decade to intercept Russian military aircraft.