Russia

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 29th January 2015.

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Photo of Nicholas Soames Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many airborne sorties have been carried out by the Royal Air Force to intercept Russian military aircraft approaching or entering British airspace in each month since April 2005.

Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many times aircraft were intercepted by Quick Reaction Alert flights in 2014; and what the (a) intercepted aircraft type and (b) location were.

Photo of Mark Francois Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

Holding answer received on 28 January 2015

Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) aircraft launched to intercept aircraft on 20 days in 2014. The number of days on which QRA aircraft have launched specifically against Russian military aircraft for each year since 2005 is contained in the table below. Not every launch resulted in an interception as some incidents were resolved prior to interception.

Year

No. Days Launched Against Russian Military Aircraft

2005

4

2006

1

2007

19

2008

11

2009

11

2010

7

2011

10

2012

9

2013

8

2014

8

I am withholding further details as deterrence is a principal function of QRA and QRA is in turn an integral part of the air defence of the UK. The disclosure of information that might compromise the QRA deterrent capability would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

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