RAF Typhoons
RAF Typhoon fighter (bottom) escorts a Russian SU-25 Flanker away from Baltic airspace.RAF

RAF Typhoons were scrambled to intercept "multiple Russian aircraft" over Baltic airspace yesterday (June 18) it has been reported.

The fighter jets from 3 (Fighter) Squadron were launched after four separate groups of aircraft were detected by air defences in international airspace near the region.

The aircraft were identified as a Russian Tupolev Tu22 'Backfire' bomber, four Sukhoi Su27 'Flanker' fighters, one Beriev A50 'Mainstay' early warning aircraft and an Antonov An26 'Curl' transport aircraft.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Defence said the operation was part of Nato's ongoing mission to police Baltic airspace.

"The Russian aircraft were monitored by the RAF Typhoons and escorted on their way." It was reported that they "appeared to be carrying out a variety of routine training."

Typhoon Detachment Commander Wing Commander Ian Townsend said: "We regularly intercept Russian and civilian aircraft ... so this type of mission is core business for us and exactly what we were sent to the Baltic region by Nato to do.

"It was a thoroughly successful operation with both my ground crew and aircrew performing to the exacting professional high standards I have come to expect."

Typhoon pilots Flight Lieutenant Mark Long of 29 (Reserve) Squadron who intercepted the Russian aircraft said: "The Typhoon is a superb aircraft that makes intercepting other aircraft exceptionally easy, today's interception of the Russian Flankers is all in day's work for an RAF fighter pilot."