RAF Typhoons warn off Russian spy planes in amazing mid-air photos


jets flanker typhoon

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL: The jets are almost touching in the tense confrontation (Pic: Ministry of Defence / Crown Copyright)

Russia’s long-range strategic bombers – many of them TU-95 Bears capable of carrying city-destroying nuclear weapons – make regular probing flights into UK airspace.

Today two Antonov AN-12s – four-engined turboprop transport aircraft that are often used for photographic and electronic surveillance  made a run into Estonian airspace accompanied by a pair of Russian Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker fighters.

They were warned off by two sorties of Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon fighter jets operating from Ämari Air Base support of Baltic Air Policing.

This is the tenth and eleventh QRA scramble and intercept since the RAF took over enhanced Air Policing (eAP) from the German Air Force on May 3, 2019, as part of Baltic Air Policing. 

THREAT: The Antonov is primarily used for transport although a mine-layer was developed (Pic: Ministry of Defence / Crown Copyright)

TOOLED UP: The Flanker can carry bombs and missiles as well as a fearsome 30 mm autocannon (Pic: Ministry of Defence / Crown Copyright)

The Typhoon FGR.Mk 4 is a highly capable and extremely agile fourth-generation multi-role combat aircraft, capable of being deployed for the full spectrum of air operations, including air policing, peace support and high intensity conflict. 

Initially deployed in the air-to-air role as the Typhoon F.Mk 2, the aircraft now has a potent, precision multi-role capability as the FGR4. 

The pilot performs many essential functions through the aircraft’s hands on throttle and stick (HOTAS) interface which, combined with an advanced cockpit and the Helmet Equipment Assembly (HEA), renders Typhoon superbly equipped for all aspects of air operations.

WARNNG: The Russian planes were closely followed by RAF Typhoons (Pic: Ministry of Defence / Crown Copyright)

SNAPS: The photos were taken from one of the defending RAF Typhoons (Pic: Ministry of Defence / Crown Copyright)

The Russian ‘Flanker’ is a fourth-generation jet fighter designed to match NATO’s F15s and Tomcats. 

The Su-27 was designed for air superiority missions, and subsequent variants are able to perform almost all aerial warfare operations.

The Antonov is an extraordinarily Russian military versatile aircraft with dozens of sub-types. There are even four mystery variants, listed as the An-12TA,An-12TB,An-12TBP and the An-12TBK about which little is known.


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