London (AFP) – UK jets were scrambled Monday morning to respond to two Russian bombers flying north of the Shetland Islands in Scotland, Britain’s defence ministry said in a statement.

Issued on:

1 min

Two Royal Air Force Typhoon jets were scrambled from a base in northeast Scotland
Two Royal Air Force Typhoon jets were scrambled from a base in northeast Scotland © PHIL NOBLE / POOL/AFP

The ministry said the jets monitored two Russian Tu-142 long-range maritime patrol bombers as they transited near the Shetland Islands in the North Sea “within NATO’s northern air policing area”.

The Royal Air Force Typhoon jets were dispatched from RAF Lossiemouth, a military airfield in Moray, northeastern Scotland.

They were joined by a Voyager tanker which remained airborne for the duration of the mission to offer air-to-air refuelling if needed.

“RAF crews at Lossiemouth maintain a constant watch over UK airspace and are always ready to take action at a moment’s notice to keep our country safe,” Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said in the statement.

“Pilots launched in their Typhoon jets to intercept two Russian long-range bombers this morning, monitoring them as they passed north of the Shetland Islands, ready to counter any potential threat to UK territory,” he added.

The Typhoons have since returned to their base, according to the ministry.

Incidents involving Russian and Western aircraft have multiplied over the recent months against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

© 2023 AFP