Russia panic: RAF scrambled to challenge Putin's fighter jets in showdown over Baltic Sea

The British Typhoons, from RAF Lossiemough, approached the Russian formation to identify its composition. They established it was an IL-38 ‘MAY’ Maritime Patrol Aircraft, being escorted by two SU-27 Flanker B Fighters.

Today’s interception is the first the RAF have seen and intercepted a ‘MAY’ which was operating alongside a Russian OSCAR class submarine.

Photographs show the RAF Typhoons intercepting the Russian jets.

One image showed the Russian submarine in the waters below, as it transited towards the West across the Baltic Sea.

The Russian formation was then monitored as it flew through the Lithuanian Flight Information Region, which is international airspace.

The RAF did this to ensure the safety of other airspace users as Russian Military aircraft do not file flight plans in accordance with standard international practice, the Ministry of Defence said.

This intercept follows an earlier interception at the start of the week when the Typhoons monitored Russian SU-27 Flankers as they transited through Lithuanian controlled international airspace.

Earlier this week Russian warplanes took to the skies for major tactical flight drills in the country’s westernmost Kaliningrad Region.

The crews of about 15 Sukhoi Su-30SM and Su-24 aircraft from the Baltic Fleet’s naval aviation will practice eliminating a notional enemy’s ground targets during the week-long war games.

A spokesman for the fleet said: “During the drills that will last until the end of this week, the crews of Su-30SM multirole fighters and Su-24 frontline bombers will practice tasks at the training ground to eliminate columns of a notional enemy’s military hardware and provide fire support for units of the Baltic Fleet’s army corps in the conditions of a present-day all-arms battle.”

The training mission involves about 15 aircraft and more than 100 flight and ground personnel from the air regiment of the Baltic Fleet’s naval aviation squadron.

Russia has been flexing its military muscles amid simmering tensions with the West.

The Baltic Sea accounts for up to 15 percent of the world’s cargo traffic and NATO is committed to the independence of the region.

It is bordered by nine countries, the vast majority of which are European.

Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden comprise the nine nations.

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