Jets were scrambled by RAF Boulmer to intercept Russian bombers which were approaching UK airspace, the base has confirmed.
The incident happened on Thursday, September 20, as the long-range Blackjack planes closed in on the UK. They were intercepted by the RAF over the North Sea.
An RAF Boulmer spokesman said: “RAF Boulmer compiles a Recognised Air Picture, with radars monitoring the airspace around the UK, and providing tactical control of the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Force.
“This function was highlighted when Russian long-range Blackjack bombers were approaching UK airspace. Personnel at RAF Boulmer were in control during the event and took the decision to launch QRA aircrafts from RAF Lossiemouth and a tanker aircraft from RAF Brize Norton to escort the aircrafts away from the area.”
The Ministry of Defence said: “The RAF worked closely with NATO partners to monitor the jets as they passed through a variety of international airspace, before they were intercepted by the RAF over the North Sea.
“Subsequently, our fighters escorted the Russian Blackjacks north, out of the UK’s area of interest. At no time did the Russian bombers enter UK sovereign airspace.”