NATO jets intercept Russian air-to-air refueling aircraft near Estonian airspace

British, German Typhoon jets scrambled as Russian plane fails to communicate with air traffic control in Estonia, says British Defense Ministry

16:50 - 15/03/2023 Wednesday
File photo
File photo

Two NATO Typhoon jets intercepted a Russian air-to-air refueling aircraft close to Estonian airspace on Tuesday, according to a statement from British Defense Ministry.

“A Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jet operating from Ämari Air Base in Estonia has carried out the first joint NATO Air Policing interception alongside a German Air Force Typhoon,” the statement said.

“The pair of jets launched on Tuesday, 14 March to intercept a Russian air-to-air refuelling aircraft that was flying close to Estonian airspace,” it added.

The pair of Typhoon jets were scrambled to escort the IL78 Midas Russian plane, which the statement said, “was flying between St Petersburg and Kaliningrad” and it failed to communicate with air traffic control in Estonia.

“Following a successful visual identification and escort, the pair of Typhoons were re-tasked to intercept an AN148 airliner, also passing Estonian airspace,” it added.

British Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey, said: “NATO continues to form the bedrock of our collective security.”

“This joint UK and German deployment in the Baltics clearly demonstrates our collective resolve to challenge any potential threat to NATO’s borders, whilst demonstrating our combined strength,” Heappey added.

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