The UK’s Ministry of Defense announced that the British Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter jets intercepted 21 Russian aircraft on the edge of NATO airspace in the past three weeks during a mission in Estonia.
“These interceptions are a stark reminder of the value of collective defense and the deterrence that NATO provides,” UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement.
Wallace added: “The RAF has worked alongside our allies over the past three weeks to ensure that Member States and our partner nations are protected, and they can be assured of our continued support in strengthening European security alongside those who share our values.”
In line with the UK’s contribution to NATO missions, British Typhoons took off to monitor Russian aircraft when the latter fail to communicate with air traffic agencies, which represented a danger to aviation safety, according to the ministry.
It also highlighted that the British planes must remain in Estonia until August when they will be relieved by planes from the Spanish army.
The unity had been described by its organizers as the largest air exercise in the history of the Alliance, bringing together 250 military aircraft from 25 members and partner countries of NATO, including Japan and Sweden, a candidate country for membership.