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Moment RAF Typhoons intercept Russian warplanes approaching Estonian airspace in latest tense stand-off in the skies
15 June 2023, 15:21
This is the moment RAF Typhoon fighter jets intercepted Russian warplanes approaching Estonia.
The British jets were scrambled to intercept one Russian Air Force IL-20 COOT A and two SU-27 Flankers, the RAF said, after Moscow's jets 'failed to comply with international norms' of communication.
Estonia is one of NATO's 31 members and has been one of Ukraine's most staunch backers since the Russian invasion.
The RAF Tycoons that intercepted the Russian jets were from the 140 Expeditionary Air Wing, current deployed to the country and carrying out the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission - part of NATO's largest air exercise this year.
RAF Typhoons from 140 EAW in Estonia were scrambled this afternoon to intercept a Russian Air Force IL-20 COOT A and 2x Su-27 FLANKER B flying close to @NATO airspace.— Royal Air Force (@RoyalAirForce) June 14, 2023
The Russian aircraft failed to comply with international norms by not liaising with relevant FIRs.#WeAreNATO pic.twitter.com/lukgJaRp3P
The RAF tweeted: "RAF Typhoons from 140 EAW in Estonia were scrambled this afternoon to intercept a Russian Air Force IL-20 COOT A and 2x Su-27 FLANKER B flying close to NATO airspace.
"The Russian aircraft failed to comply with international norms by not liaising with relevant FIRs," it wrote, adding: #WeAreNato along with photographs of the jets.
The RAF has been called on a number of times since the war began to deter Russian aircraft from entering NATO airspace.
On June 9, British jets were scrambled for a second time in 24 hours when Typhoons intercepted an Antonov An-12 Cub and an Antonov An-72 Coaler that were flying south from mainland Russia towards the Kaliningrad Oblast.
The same fighters were then re-tasked to intercept two Tupolev Tu-22M Backfire bombers and two Su-30SM Flanker H fighters that were detected flying from mainland Russia over the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea.
This came after RAF Typhoons and Swedish Air Force Gripens were scrambled to intercept a Russian Air Force IL-20 Coot A and a Su-27 Flanker on Thursday.
And earlier this year it was revealed a Russian fighter jet attempted to shoot down a manned RAF jet over the Black Sea.
But the act of war was avoided when the Russian missile malfunctioned.
Previously it had been thought that the blundering Su-27 pilot mistakenly believed a radar operator on the ground had given him permission to fire on the British jet and take it down but today US defence officials revealed it had been set off deliberately.
On Monday, NATO began its biggest ever air force deployment exercise in Europe as part of a 'show of strength' in the skies.
The German-led 'Air Defender 23' will include some 250 military aircrafts from 25 NATO and partner countries including Japan and Sweden, which is bidding to join the alliance. It will run until June 23.