UK jets were scrambled Monday morning to respond to two Russian bombers flying north of the Shetland Islands in Scotland, Britain’s defense ministry said in a statement.
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 refueling 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.
The @RoyalAirForce intercepted two Russian Tu-142 long-range maritime patrol bombers this morning, north of Scotland.
The quick reaction alert Typhoon jets were supported by a Voyager tanker and have now returned to @RAFLossiemouth.
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) August 14, 2023
“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.