1. ITV Report

RAF jets scrambled to intercept Russian planes in the Baltics

Russian IL76 Candid aircraft being intercepted by an RAF Typhoon fighter jet. Credit: RAF/MoD/PA Wire

RAF jets were scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft approaching the Baltic skies, according to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.

Mr Fallon described the incident as an "act of Russian aggression".

The military transport aircraft did not transmit a recognised identification code and appeared to be unresponsive.

The interception was the first such intervention as part of the RAF's latest mission to keep airspace in the area secure as part of the Baltic Air Policing Mission.

This is another example of just how important the UK's contribution to the Baltic Air Policing Mission is. We were able to instantly respond to this act of Russian aggression - demonstration of our commitment to Nato's collective defence.

– Defence Secretary Michael Fallon
Russian An26 Curl aircraft being intercepted by a RAF Typhoon fighter jet. Credit: RAF/MoD/PA Wire

Four RAF jets were deployed to join the mission in the Baltics in April and will remain there until the end of August.

The initiative sees Nato members help others who do not have their own policing capabilities.

One of the pilots involved in the mission said it went "as planned".

The scramble went exactly as planned, we launched our Typhoon aircraft quickly and then using our advanced sensors and mission systems, combined with support from our Battlespace Managers on the ground, carried out textbook intercepts of the three aircraft.

– RAF pilot involved in the interception

During the last mission Typhoon fighter jets were scrambled 17 times, intercepting more than 40 Russian aircraft.