British fighters escort Russian military transport plane near Estonia (PHOTOS)

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TALLINN – British Royal Air Forces fighters took off from a base in Estonia last Sunday to intercept a Russian military transport aircraft Il-76.

The transport aircraft was flying close to Estonian airspace, the UK Ministry of Defense said in a statement yesterday.

“We continued to escort the transport aircraft as it flew north out of Estonian airspace,” said the British pilot who was involved in the operation mentioned in the statement.

As the ministry indicated, it was a routine mission for the Amari Air Base Typhoon fighters to “ensure that the UK is here to work in partnership with Estonia.”

“On Sunday @ RoyalAirForce Typhoon fighter jets operating from Ämari Air Base in Estonia launched to intercept a Russian IL-76 military transport aircraft that was flying close to Estonian airspace,” the UK Ministry of Defense said in a Tweet.

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In May, a four-unit Eurofighter Typhoon unit of the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom officially began the patrol mission over the Baltic countries . British aircraft have replaced German Air Force aircraft, which had been on the same mission on a rotating basis since August.

In 2017, NATO sent four multinational tactical groupings to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, with a total of 4,500 troops, as part of a military reinforcement on its east flank.

This comes as NATO Air Force Ramstein Alloy 19-2 exercises began above the Baltic countries on Tuesday, reports the press office of the Latvian Ministry of Defense.

The purpose of the exercises is to test airspace control and monitoring by NATO forces , as well as to control and test the interaction between regional and Atlantic Alliance air forces. The exercises are performed annually.

“NATO Air Force Ramstein Alloy 19-2 exercises began in the skies over the Baltic countries on Tuesday, with the participation of more than 20 aircraft,” it was reported.

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