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.
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.
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.