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RAF shadows Russian Baltic planes

Published 09/06/2015

Four RAF Typhoons have been deployed to the Baltic states
Four RAF Typhoons have been deployed to the Baltic states

RAF Typhoons have intercepted and shadowed two Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea, it has been disclosed.

The jets were scrambled from Amari Air base in Estonia yesterday after the planes approached Baltic airspace without sharing a flight plan.

They initially identified and shadowed an Il-20M "Coot" A surveillance aircraft, before checking out a an An-26 "Curl" transport plane flying north from Kaliningrad.

Four Typhoons were deployed to Amari on May 1, and are working with Norwegian aircraft to patrol Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, who plans to visit the Baltic Air Policing detachment later this month, said: "The interception of Russian military aircraft by our RAF Typhoon fighters underlines our commitment to Nato and the security of the Baltic region.

"RAF air and ground crew are doing vital work to defend the skies above and around the Baltic States and I look forward to seeing that work first hand in the near future. "

Flight Lieutenant Paul Griffin said: "In this case the Typhoons were given the nod and the Estonian controllers hit the scramble button.

"The Estonian controllers picked up the aircraft on their radar picture and evaluated whether it had a flight plan and its heading, height and speed. Once it was clear it was an unknown they gave it an appropriate identification colour which made it stand out on our radar scopes."

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