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The Royal Air Force and German jets intercepted the Russian jet near Estonian airspace

The Royal Air Force and German fighter jets intercepted the Russian jet near Estonian airspace in the first joint operation of its kind.

The two Typhoons were used on Tuesday to intercept an Il-78 Midas refueling aircraft flying between St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad.

The plane failed to contact air traffic control in Estonia.

The British and German air forces are currently undertaking a planned joint NATO air policing operation in the region.

The interception itself was routine, but it was the first time such an operation had been carried out jointly by the two sides.

The incident came amid rising tensions between NATO and Russia over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although it had no bearing on Tuesday’s reports of a collision between a Russian warplane and a US drone in the Black Sea.

After escorting Midas, the two aircraft diverted to intercept the An-148 aircraft which also crossed near Estonian airspace.

The jets are part of the RAF’s 140th Expeditionary Air Wing and Germany’s 71st Richthofen Tactical Air Wing.
The Royal Air Force is preparing to take command of NATO’s longstanding air patrol mission in the Baltic region from Germany’s Luftwaffe in April.

He will then command the mission for four months, with joint British and German operations continuing until the end of April.

Four RAF Typhoon aircraft are currently deployed on the mission and are based at Ämari Air Base in Estonia.

Secretary of Defense James Heapy said: “NATO continues to be a cornerstone of our collective security. This joint Anglo-German deployment in the Baltic States clearly demonstrates our shared determination to counter potential threats to NATO’s borders, while demonstrating our collective strength.”

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