Two Russian bombers reportedly heading towards UK space caused RAF combat jets to be scrambled on 17 February. The RAF Typhoons were dispatched from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire following the security alert.

According to an RAF spokesperson the situation is "ongoing" and is not uncommon, however, he confirmed that Typhoons had been sent on a "quick reaction alert". The RAF has intercepted a number of Russian military planes over the past year, according to the BBC.

In November 2015 RAF Lossiemouth fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers, initially unidentified flying over the Atlantic in international airspace. The Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers were then escorted by the RAF jets and the Ministry of Defence confirmed the Russian military aircraft had not crossed into UK airspace.

NATO jets have increasingly been scrambled to intercept Russian jets in recent months as tensions between the West and Moscow escalate over the Ukraine crisis. RAF Typhoons have most recently been involved in UK airstrikes against Islamic State (Isis) in Syria.