British Typhoons scrambled from Romania to shadow Russian jets

An RAF Typhoon jet takes off during a visit by Britain’s Prince William Duke of Cambridge to RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, Britain, March 2018. (Reuters pic)

LONDON: Two British Typhoon jets were scrambled from Romania to investigate suspected Russian fighter aircraft operating near NATO airspace over the Black Sea, the Royal Air Force (RAF) said on Wednesday.

The Typhoons took off from a base near Constanta to shadow the two suspected Russian Su-30 Flanker aircraft, the RAF added in a statement.

RAF jets regularly monitor Russian warplanes near UK airspace, and the encounter near Romania is the second in that area since July.

The Royal Air Force has deployed Typhoons to the Baltic States in recent years as part of a mission to protect NATO airspace in the region.

Britain’s Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster, spoke about “an ever more assertive Russia” in a speech in London in July.

He said the RAF has had to scramble jets more than 80 times over the last decade to intercept Russian military aircraft.