British Typhoon aircraft intercept a Russian military transport aircraft near the Estonian air space

British Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets operating from Ämari Air Base in Estonia launched on 28 July to intercept a Russian IL-76 military transport aircraft that was flying close to Estonian airspace.

This is a routine NATO mission for the Typhoons which provides reassurance that the UK is here to work in partnership with Estonia, according to the British ministry of defence.

A Typhoon pilot, attached to 121 Expeditionary Air Wing, was conducting quick reaction alert duty when the scramble was called.

“We were scrambled to intercept an aircraft that was approaching Estonian airspace from the south,” he said, according to the ministry of defence. “We identified and monitored it as it transited close to NATO airspace. This is standard protocol for aircraft that might not be communicating with Air Traffic Control or on a recognised flight plan.”

The Royal Air Force is deployed in Estonia in support of Baltic Air Policing. This was the 14th quick reaction alert scramble and intercept since the RAF took over enhanced air policing from the German Air Force on 3 May 2019.

A couple of RAF Typhoon aircraft exercising in the US. The image is illustrative.

The Baltic Air Policing mission is a NATO air defence mission in order to guard the airspace over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Currently, the United Kingdom is stationed at Ämari with four Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, and at Šiauliai, Lithuania, the Hungarian Air Force is stationed with four JAS 39C Gripen aircraft and the Spanish Air Force with five EF-18 Hornet aircraft.

Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon fighter jets operating from Ämari Air Base in Estonia launched on Sunday 28th June to intercept a Russian IL-76 military transport aircraft that was flying close to Estonian airspace.

This is a routine NATO mission for the Typhoons which provides reassurance that the UK is here to work in partnership with Estonia.

Cover: A Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jet operating from Ämari Air Base in Estonia intercepting a Russian IL-76 military transport aircraft. Image courtesy of the Royal Air Force.