Monday, September 20, 2021

British fighters intercepts Russian military aircraft over Black Sea

Royal Air Force scrambled fighter jets to intercept a Russian military aircraft flying in International Airspace over the Black Sea.

In a release Tuesday, Royal Air Force reported that Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets on Quick Reaction Alert based in Romania with 121 Expeditionary Air Wing have scrambled to intercept a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer aircraft.

The Typhoons, from Number 121 Expeditionary Air Wing, are conducting NATO Enhanced Air Policing and scrambled as the Russian aircraft was detected entering the Bucharest Flight Information Region, heading towards Romanian territorial airspace.


As with many Russian Military sorties, the aircraft had not filed a flight plan and was not speaking with Romanian Air Traffic Control; making it a flight safety hazard for all air users.

Responding to the Quick Reaction Alert scramble call one of the RAF Typhoon Pilots: “When the unidentified, though suspected Russian aircraft entered the Romanian Flight Information Region we were scrambled to carry out a visual identification. We were airborne within minutes and heading towards the track; it wasn’t long before we intercepted the aircraft and identified it as a Russian SU-24 Fencer. It had flown no closer than 20 miles from the Romanian coast before we intercepted it. We shadowed it until it left the Flight Information Region heading North East. We then resumed our combat air patrol mission and returned to base.”

Alongside other NATO Allies that have been carrying out this mission on a rolling basis since 2017, the UK has been providing Quick Reaction Alert assistance to enhance the Air Policing carried out by the Romanian Air Force’s own fleet of fast-jet aircraft since May. Romania is equipped with MiG -21 Lancer and the American-built F-16 aircraft.

Wing Commander Lamping the Commanding Officer of 121 Expeditionary Air Wing was operating out of the Romanian airbase.

“Every time we scramble to intercept unidentified aircraft in support of the enhanced Air Policing mission we are demonstrating our steadfast commitment to NATO by helping to secure NATO airspace in the Black Sea region and reassure our Romanian allies,” Wing Commander Lamping Commanding Officer 121 Expeditionary Air Wing said.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.