Russia: Military Aircraft

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 1st March 2018.

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Photo of Lord Temple-Morris Lord Temple-Morris Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many approaches to UK airspace by Russian military aircraft were detected during (1) 2016, and (2) 2017.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

The RAF's Air Surveillance and Control System at RAF Boulmer is fully integrated with NATO allies and the NATO Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem in Germany, which manages NATO's response to such activity. This allows NATO to react in good time to aircraft approaching the airspace of both the UK and our NATO allies.

I am withholding details of the number of occasions Russian military aircraft were detected approaching UK airspace. The disclosure of this information would reveal details of the air defence of the UK which would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

However, Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Coningsby launched to intercept Russian military aircraft approaching UK airspace on five days in 2016 and three days in 2017.

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