RAF jets scrambled after Russian jets spotted flying over North Sea

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Two RAF fighter jets were scrambled to intercept Russian military jets that were flying over the North Sea, it has emerged.

The RAF Typhoons were dispatched from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland to intercept the two Russia Tu-142 Bear F planes after they were detected near UK airspace on Saturday.

The aircraft in question is used in anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol, according to the RAF, which says it is "essential" to "carefully monitor" their movements while operating close to the UK.

They can be a hazard to other air traffic, the force added, saying the Russian jets do not "squawk", which is a transmission of information on their position and movements to UK air traffic controllers so that civilian planes can be diverted away.

The RAF said its Typhoons "shadowed" the Russian aircraft to "deter this unprofessional activity and mitigate risks associated with Russian military aircraft flying in this busy international airspace".

As well as fighter jets, an RAF Voyager was deployed from Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, which provided air-to-air refuelling for the Typhoons.

NATO allies helped with monitoring the Russian jets through the launch of "Quick Reaction Alert assets".

The mission was coordinated from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, which liaised with Nato partners at the Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem in Germany.

An RAF spokesperson said: "The QRA crew did a fantastic job, locating aircraft that were not easy to detect very quickly.

"Again, the RAF has scrambled to defend the interests of the UK and NATO. It demonstrates the efficiency and resilience of our personnel, aircraft and systems."

The RAF added that the incident was over by early afternoon.