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RAF Lossiemouth aces scrambled to intercept Russian spy plane and submarine

Image shows an intercept of a Russian IL-38 May and SU-27 Flanker B aircraft in Baltic Sea area by a RAF Typhoon
Image shows an intercept of a Russian IL-38 May and SU-27 Flanker B aircraft in Baltic Sea area by a RAF Typhoon

Top guns from RAF Lossiemouth have intercepted a Russian military operation involving a rarely-spotted spy plane and a submarine.

Typhoons from the Moray-based 6 Squadron are presently based in Lithuania and were scrambled from their base there.

They approached the Russian formation and identified that it involved a IL-38 “MAY” spy plane, the Russian equivalent of the UK’s fleet of Poseidon aircraft which have started arriving at Lossiemouth.

It was the first time in recent years that RAF personnel have seen and intercepted a craft of that nature.

Image shows a Russian IL-38 May and SU-27 Flanker B aircraft in Baltic Sea area during an intercept by RAF Typhoons of No. 6 Squadron

It was escorted by two SU-27 Flanker B Fighters and operating alongside a Russian submarine which the Typhoons photographed on the surface of the sea as it turned to head west.

The Russian formation was then monitored as it flew through international airspace, to ensure the safety of other airspace users as Russian Military aircraft do not file flight plans in accordance with standard international practice.

Image shows a Russian IL-38 May reconaissance aircraft in Baltic Sea area

The mission followed a similar interception at the start of the week when the Typhoons were again airborne to monitor Russian SU-27 Flankers as they passed through Lithuanian controlled international airspace.

They have come during a busy week for 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW), the RAF unit that is deployed in Lithuania as the UK contribution to the Nato Baltic Air Policing mission.

The EAW has also been conducting training with a detachment of German Eurofighters that have been embedded into the group.

Russian Navy Submarine in the Baltic Sea

RAF personnel also hosted the Lithuanian president when he visited the airbase and were invited to take part in some national Lithuanian events.

Commanding Officer of the 135 EAW, Wing Commander Stu Gwinnutt, said: “Our operations this week have demonstrated what the RAF is all about, we had just completed a really productive Typhoon interoperability exercise with the Luftwaffe and shortly thereafter, we scrambled on a live intercept, showing  the whole team’s professionalism and flexibility.”

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