Royal Air Force Typhoons based in Romania have been launched in response to Russian Su-24 FENCER aircraft operating near NATO airspace over the Black Sea.
Operating from the Romanian Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta on the Black Sea coast, the RAF Typhoon’s responded to the suspected bomber aircraft heading west towards NATO airspace.
The Russian aircraft was flying over the western Black Sea and was monitored by two Typhoon pilots from 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW), in accordance with the NATO Enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission the RAF is conducting in Romania.
A Typhoon pilot from 1 (Fighter) Squadron, attached to 135 EAW, was sitting on Quick Reaction Alert duty when the scramble was called. He said:
“When we received the message to scramble, we sprinted to the jets with our engineers, fired up the aircraft and took off all within a matter of minutes. We were then vectored toward the unknown Russian aircraft who were close to infringing NATO airspace. The Russian aircraft did not enter NATO airspace so we were ordered to patrol the skies for a short period of time as a deterrent, until finally returning to MK Air Base. We routinely conduct air policing in the UK so today’s event is familiar and went seamlessly.”
The RAF mission in Romania is part of NATO’s Assurance Measures introduced in 2014. At the time, the Alliance started implementing these Assurance Measures with the goal of demonstrating the collective resolve of Allies and the defensive nature of NATO.