RAF Scrambled Three Times to Deter Russians
Typhoons Scrambled as Russian Aircraft Probe NATO Airspace in Black Sea Region
According to the RAF, Typhoon fighters were repeatedly scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft. Codenamed Operation BILOXI, the RAF is playing a key role in NATO’s Enhanced Air Policing mission by deterring Russian incursions. In the last few days, RAF Typhoons have intercepted Russian fighters and maritime patrol aircraft. Warfare.Today has the RAF reports in full below.
21 August: Russian Su-30 Flanker-Cs
Royal Air Force Typhoons based in Romania were launched on Tuesday 21st August in response to two suspected Russian Su-30 Flanker aircraft operating near NATO airspace over the Black Sea.
Launching from the Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta on the Black Sea coast, the RAF Typhoons responded to the aircraft which were heading south west towards NATO airspace from the Crimea.
The Russian fighter aircraft were repeating the recently seen activity in the air and were monitored by two Typhoons from 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW). The RAF Typhoons were operating in accordance with the NATO Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission, whereby the RAF operates alongside its NATO ally to deter Russian aggression, reassure Romania and assure NATO allies of the UK commitment to collective defence.
“We were monitoring the activity from the Ops room as the Scramble was called. Everything went as planned with both of us, launching and heading east towards the two contacts. We had radar contact and shadowed the two aircraft as they flew through the Romanian Flight Information Region, but we never got within visual range to see them. It was a successful Operational mission, we achieved exactly what the UK Typhoons from 1 (Fighter) Squadron are expected to do as part of 135 EAW and the NATO enhanced Air Policing mission.”
Typhoon Pilot, 1 (F) Squadron attached to 135 EAW
The Sukhoi Su-30 (Russian: Сухой Су-30; NATO reporting name: Flanker-C) is a twin-engine, two-seat super manoeuvrable fighter aircraft developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. It is a multirole fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions. Su-30s most recently flew combat missions in 2017 in Syria as part of Russia’s operations in support of the Syrian regime.
23 August: Russian Be-12 ‘Mail’ Maritime Patrol
Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets have interrupted a Russian maritime patrol aircraft’s path towards NATO airspace on the Thursday 23rd August 2018.
Launching from the Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, the RAF Typhoons responded yesterday (August 23) to a Russian Be-12 heading south west over the Black Sea from Crimea. It’s the second time in a week that RAF jets, on NATO’s Air Policing mission, have been scrambled to deter provocative Russian aircraft and reassure Romania and NATO allies.
The Beriev Be-12 Chayka (“Seagull”, NATO reporting name: Mail) is a Soviet turboprop-powered amphibious aircraft designed for anti-submarine and maritime patrol duties.
“Our commitment to NATO and European security is unwavering. Whether in the skies over the Black Sea and the Baltic, or on the ground in Estonia our actions send a clear message – we are collectively ready to respond to any act of aggression and will support our Eastern European allies deter any threats faced.”
Gavin Williamson, Defence Secretary
1 (Fighter) Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, is deployed to Romania as part of the NATO ‘Enhanced Air Policing’ mission, where assistance is provided to the Romanian Air Force’s own fleet of fast-jet aircraft.
A Typhoon pilot from 1(Fighter) Squadron, attached to 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) and on Quick Reaction Alert duty when the scramble was called said:
“We launched in response to a Russian Be-12 aircraft that was manoeuvring over the Black Sea. It is exactly what the RAF has been brought to Romania to do and it felt great to have been able to contribute towards the mission.”
RAF Typhoon Pilot from No. 1 (Fighter) Squadron, attached to 135 Expeditionary Air Wing
25 August: Russian An-26 and Be-12 Aircraft
Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets have been launched in response to two Russian aircraft flying in NATO airspace.
Launching from their Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, the Typhoons responded this morning (August 25) to a Russian An-26 and then a Be-12 heading over the Black Sea. It’s the third time this week that RAF jets, on NATO’s Air Policing mission, have been scrambled to deter provocative Russian aircraft and reassure Romania and NATO allies.
The Antonov An-26 (NATO reporting name: Curl) is a twin-engined turboprop civilian and military transport aircraft, designed and produced in the Soviet Union from 1969 to 1986. The aircraft has been involved in a number of incidents, such as the crash on 6 March 2018 at Khmeimim Air Base, Syria, when all 33 passengers and six crew died in the incident. The An-26 can also operate as a bomber.
Flight Lieutenant Ben, a Typhoon pilot on 1 (Fighter) Squadron, attached to 135 Expeditionary Air Wing, was conducting Quick Reaction Alert duty when the scramble was called. He said:
“We launched both QRA aircraft to counter an incursion into the Romanian airspace from the East over the Black Sea by a suspected Russian aircraft. We were able to intercept and identify it as a Russian An-26 CURL and escorted it clear of the Romanian airspace.”
Describing the separate and second incursion by the Be-12, he added:
“The first response was immediately followed by another suspected Russian aircraft over the Black Sea. Both Typhoons escorted it clear of Romanian airspace, the whole event was conducted safely and professionally on both sides.”
Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, is deployed to Romania as part of the NATO ‘Enhanced Air Policing’ mission, where assistance is provided to the Romanian Air Force’s own fleet of fast-jet aircraft.
Ben described the mission saying:
“This is exactly what 1 (Fighter) Squadron have been brought to Romania to do in support of 135 EAW and the Enhanced NATO air policing mission and it felt great to have been able to contribute towards the NATO mission to help support the Romanians police their airspace.”
Featured Image: two Russian Federation Airforce Su-30 Flanker-C aircraft (Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Mil.ru, 2018).