The British Royal Air Force (RAF) intercepted a Russian Su-24 Fencer jet flying toward Romanian territorial airspace on Tuesday, the force reported.
The team of RAF Typhoons was stationed at the Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta on the Black Sea coast when the incident occurred. The Russian jet was detected as it entered the Bucharest Flight Information Region.
The jet did not have a flight plan on record, and no one responded to Romanian air traffic control when they hailed the aircraft for identification.
With that, the aircraft was treated as a flight safety hazard.
An RAF Typhoon pilot then sent out a Quick Reaction Alert concerning the unidentified aircraft. It “scrambled to carry out a visual identification.” When the jet did not respond to their requests, the Typhoons “were airborne within minutes and heading towards the track.”
“It wasn’t long before we intercepted the aircraft and identified it as a Russian SU-24 Fencer,” the RAF statement read. “It had flown no closer than 20 miles (32.19 km) from the Romanian coast before we intercepted it. We shadowed it until it left the Flight Information Region, heading North East. We then resumed our combat air patrol mission and returned to base.”
About The Quick Reaction Alert
The Quick Reaction Alert program is a readiness protocol of air defense maintained round the clock by NATO air forces, including the RAF Typhoon fleet from the UK.
This program connects a fleet of Typhoons ready to take to the air if the need arises. The National Air Defence Operations Centre (NADOC) at RAF Air Command, High Wycombe, is responsible for gathering information from radar sites across the UK and civilian air traffic and intelligence agencies.