"When the Russian aircraft entered the Romanian Flight Information Region (FIR) we were scrambled to conduct a Combat Air Patrol in the area. As the suspect aircraft turned into Romanian airspace we were then instructed to visually identify the track" said Flight Lieutenant Charlie, one of the RAF Pilots from IX (Bomber) Squadron, who was on Quick Reaction Alert duty and responded to the scramble.
"When we turned to intercept the aircraft they had left the FIR. As we approached our Combat Air Patrol area, the aircraft turned, headed away from us and left the FIR, at which point we resumed our air patrolling mission and practiced some air combat manoeuvres before returning to base," Charlie added.
Every time the call to scramble has been given, personnel across the Wing have responded with the utmost professionalism to help secure NATO airspace
Operation BILOXI is the UK contribution to NATO's eAP which is part of the NATO Assurance Measures first introduced in 2014 following the annexation of the Crimea by Russia. With this enhanced capability, NATO has demonstrated its collective commitment to deterrence and defence, specifically to its Allies on the Southern flank of the Alliance.
Royal Air Force Typhoons on the NATO Enhanced Air Policing mission scrambled on 5 August as NATO radars detected Russian aircraft approaching Romanian airspace over the southern Black Sea.
"This is our 8th scramble since assuming our NATO enhanced Air Policing mission at the start of May. Every time the call to scramble has been given, personnel across the Wing have responded with the utmost professionalism to help secure NATO airspace in the Black Sea region," said Wing Commander Stephen Lamping, Commanding Officer of 121 Expeditionary Air Wing.
This is the third time the RAF has deployed to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania as part of NATO's eAP mission in the Black Sea region. Controlled in 2021 on the ground by 121 EAW, RAF Typhoon aircraft conduct the eAP mission to demonstrate the UK's resolve and commitment to NATO and to offer reassurance to its Allies in the region.