RAF Typhoons scrambled to see off two Russian jets racing towards Nato airspace in the Black Sea

THE RAF this morning scrambled one of its fighter jets to intercept two Russian bombers in the Black Sea.

A British Typhoon raced towards Moscow’s TU-22 Backfire bombers as they approached Nato airspace off the coast of Romania.

The supersonic Brit jet - capable of reaching speeds of 1,500mph - was based at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base on the western Black Sea coast.

Russia and Ukraine occupy the northern extreme of the sea.

The jets did not come close enough to see each other and the Russian aircraft departed southwards.

Wing Commander Lewis Cunningham, Officer Commanding 3(F) Squadron said “It worked as we would have expected it to.

"We took down the details, ran to the aircraft and I took off within the prescribed timeline.”

He added: “It’s satisfying. We spotted that there was something happening and then very quickly the ‘phone call came and we were running out of the door.”

Wing Commander Andrew Coe, Commanding Officer of 135 Expeditionary Air Wing based in Romania, said: “This was a routine operation and is no different to what NATO aircraft do in other areas on a regular basis."

Russian and RAF jets have tracked each other several times in recent years - with Vladimir Putin's air force launching several sabre-rattling runs around the UK.

In February, RAF top guns intercepted two nuclear-capable Russian Blackjack bombers as they skirted the west coast of Scotland and Ireland.

On the way they were met by two of Britain’s supersonic Typhoon jets scrambled from two Scottish bases.

At the time ann RAF spokesperson said: “We can confirm that quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Coningsby scrambled to monitor two Blackjack bombers while they were in the UK area of interest.

( Source )