2016-05-22 The RAF has sent both jets and ships to engage in the defense of the Baltics.
Four RAF Typhoons are participating in the current NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission.
According to the UK Ministry of Defence in a piece published on May 17, 2016:
Royal Air Force Typhoons have completed their second interception in less than a week during the latest NATO Baltic Air Policing mission.
The RAF fighter jets took to the skies to investigate five unidentified aircraft flying in international airspace along the northern and western borders of Estonia.
The RAF jets, which have been deployed in Estonia since April, initially shadowed two Su-27 Flanker fighters and an IL-20 ‘Coot-A’ Reconnaissance aircraft to the north of Estonia when two more Su-27 Flankers were detected and intercepted. The Russian military aircraft were operating without transmitting recognised identification codes nor were they communicating with regional air traffic control centres.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
For the second time in a week, the RAF have been on hand to respond to Russian activity at a moment’s notice. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we will continue to secure the Baltic skies on behalf of NATO and our allies.
The lead Typhoon pilot said:
The Baltic Control and Reporting Centre had radar contact on the unidentified aircraft and ordered us to scramble, as always we were airborne in minutes and intercepted and identified the variety of Russian military aircraft. We remain on standby all day, every day to respond to any requests of this nature, this is what we do.
The Commanding Officer of 140 Expeditionary Air Wing, Wing Commander Gordon Melville, said:
Today we again demonstrated the RAF’s ability to launch our Quick Reaction Alert aircraft quickly to investigate aircraft operating in the vicinity of the Baltic states as part of our support to the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission. Several years’ experience operating in this area indicates that we can expect further similar activity in the months ahead. Our mission continues, and our NATO allies can stand assured of the UK’s full support for their defence.
This is the third consecutive year in which the UK has committed to the Baltic Air Policing Mission, the latest rotation sees four RAF Typhoon and pilots from II (Army Co-operation) Squadron from Royal Air Force Lossiemouth deployed to Amari Air Base in Estonia. The RAF Typhoon Sqn, which will remain on BAP until the end of August, is operating alongside Portugese F-16s based in Siauliai in Lithuania.
During the last UK rotation, the Typhoon fighters were scrambled 17 times and intercepted more than 40 Russian aircraft.
The slideshow above shows various intercepts of Russian aircraft since 2014 and are credited to the UK Ministry of Defence.
The first photo shows aircraft from L-R: Russian Coot-A communications aircraft; Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter; RAF Typhoon; Russian Su-27.
Royal Air Force Typhoons stationed in Estonia as part of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission have scrambled for the second time during their current deployment to intercept Russian aircraft in NATO’s area of interest. The Typhoons scrambled on 17 May to investigate five unresponsive Russian aircraft over international waters. The Russian aircraft – identified as four Su-27 Flanker fighters and one Coot-A communications aircraft – were not communicating with air traffic control, and did not transmit a recognized identification code.
In the second photo, an RAF Typhoon (bottom) intercepts two Russian MiG 31 Foxhound Fighters, as senior RAF sources warn that the number of Russian incursions has reached a peak not seen ‘in living memory.’ June 2015. Credit: Daily Mail.
In the third photo, on June 17, 2014, RAF Typhoons were scrambled to intercept multiple Russian aircraft as part of NATO’s ongoing mission to police Baltic airspace.
The Typhoon aircraft, from 3 (Fighter) Squadron, were launched after four separate groups of aircraft were detected by NATO air defences in international airspace near to the Baltic States. Credit: Ministry of Defence</p>
The fourth photo shows the two Typhoon jets involved in the intercept and it was the first time a Quick Reaction Alert had occurred since the Lossiemouth, Scotland, base had taken on the role of defending the UK’s Northern airspace. September 2014. Credit: Daily Mail
The final photo shows a British Typhoon jet, bottom, is seen intercepted one of two Russian ‘Bear’ aircraft that were spotted flying in international airspace September 2014. Credit Daily Mail.
We will publish soon interviews which will highlight the evolving RAF role in the Baltic Air Policing Mission and Quick Reaction Alerts in UK defense.
The map below published by the Daily Mail in early 2015, indicates the Quick Reaction Alerts for 2014 up until early 2015