UK fighters escorted the Russian aircraft out of the UK’s area of interest in an operation that comes amid heightened tensions between Russia, Western powers.
Fighter jets from British Royal Air Force (RAF) have “intercepted and escorted” four Russian army aircraft out of the UK’s area of interest off Scotland’s coast.
A statement from the air force said on Wednesday that the Typhoon fighter jets were launched from the Royal Air Force Lossiemouth in Moray and joined by a Voyager air-to-air refueling tanker from the Royal Air Force Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
“The Russian aircraft types were two Tu-95 Bear H and two Tu-142 Bear F,” it said.
“Our Typhoon fighters escorted the Russian aircraft out of the UK’s area of interest. At no time did the Russian bombers enter UK sovereign airspace.”
The operation came amid heightened tensions between Russia and the Western powers over a Russian military buildup along the Ukrainian border.
On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his “deep concern” at Russia’s “current hostile activity” on Ukraine’s border in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Johnson urged finding a way forward that respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity and right to self-defence, according to a Downing Street spokesperson.
“The prime minister stressed that any further Russian incursion into Ukrainian territory would be a tragic miscalculation,” the spokesperson added.