Photos of 10 Russian warplanes intercepted by RAF Typhoons over the Baltic Sea….in one sortie!

Jul 30 2015 - 22 Comments

Last Friday was quite a busy day for the RAF Typhoons supporting NATO Baltic Air Patrol mission.

On Jul. 24, the Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon jets intercepted and identified 10 (!) Russian military aircraft flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea.

The RAF Typhoons from 6 Sqn at RAF Lossiemouth, in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) at Amari airbase, Estonia, were launched as a large formation of Russian planes flew close to the Baltic States airspace (most probably going to or returning from Kaliningrad Oblast).

Su-34s Jul. 24

According to the UK MoD, once airborne, the RAF jets identified the aircraft as 4x Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback attack planes, 4x Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound fighters and 2 x Antonov An-26 Curl transport aircraft who appeared to be carrying out a variety of routine training.

Su-34s Jul. 24 2

Newsworthy, Russian activity in the Baltic region has increased even more in the last few days. On Jul. 29, NATO interceptors identified 12 Russian military aircraft flying near the Latvian border: 3x An-76 and 1x Il-76 cargo planes, 4x MiG-31s and 4x Su-24s, were detected flying near the Latvian outer sea border, above the Baltic Sea in international airspace.

An-26 Jul. 24

Image credit: Crown Copyright


  • Craig Bowers

    The message we’re sending is a little puzzling… Send 2 fighters up against 8.
    And it looks like a good number of the rails/hard points were empty.
    Too be fair, it looks like a lot of them are empty on the other side too.

    • Andrew Tubbiolo

      Just like the old days. Similar odds.

    • Nick

      Look closer. The Typhoons are carrying 4 AMRAAM and 2 ASRAAM each.

  • Roland Lawrence

    If they were in the company of the An26, wow they were going slow! Alas I bet no more friendly waiving to the Russian air crews…

    • Jan Schmidt

      an-26 cruise speed: 440 km/h (237 knots, 273 mph) – those an-26 have 35-40 years on their airframes – up to 1500 were built…

  • sferrin

    Looks like that “Reset” button worked wonders. ;-)

  • ODM

    Look, the entirety of the operational Russian Air Force is flying in formation!

    • Bez

      No, it’s not even close to being the entirety.

      • ODM

        Says you ;P
        Ok, ok, you’re right. They do have a couple grounded TU-95s as well. My mistake.

        • Bez

          The RuAF has even more types and numbers of aircraft, as you can see here

          • ODM

            Just cause they produced a mess of them in the late 80s doesn’t mean they can actually get airborne anymore, friend. Gonna have to dig deeper than Wikipedia. For all we know, you edited the pages yourself to please your Kremlin overlords. ;P

  • Marco

    I find all of this “scrambe, climb and intercept” a big waste of fuel, money.
    I understand it happening over Israel or the southern border of Turkey (where they fire indeed), but in North East Europe, Alaska or UK coast line, it is quite a ridiculous way of using money in XXI century… is anyone there really keeping its thumb on the “fire” button?

    • Jacob

      You obviously don’t understand the rules of engagement. Countries do this to test response times, and in order for a counrty to show that they are not only ready but willing to fight if provoked, they must respond with various possible counter measures.

      • Marco

        “willing to fight if provoked”… so you seriously think anyone would fire. Hellooooo we are in XXI century! Go figure… btw ruskies are not even armed…

        On the other hand, decent point by Andrew

    • Andrew Tubbiolo

      It’s great training for all sides. Well worth the gas to go up and look at your close friends.

  • sferrin

    In the words of Eric Cartman, “SWEEET!”

  • Stephen

    Can any knowledgeable person share with me how the typhoon matches up against a Mig-31 or against an Su-24?

    • Andrew Tubbiolo

      The Mig-31 can reach out and touch the Typhoon from a very great distance. In a fur ball, the Typhoon would totally outclass the Mig. As for the Su … I assume you mean the Su-34 Fullback and not the Su-24 Fencer. I was wondering the same thing. How much of the Flanker’s manoeuvrability has carried over to the Fullback. Against the Fencer, again not a contest. The Typhoon would win at long distance and short distance.

    • Hessam Johnson

      Typhoon is nimbler and has better maneuverability. Foxhound is faster. In a dogfight, my money is on the Typhoon.
      When it comes to BVR battles ( Beyond Visual Range ), then the most important factors become :

      A. Type of missiles each plane has.
      B. Radar and related targeting equipment / Stealth Factor ( cross section of radar )

      In that case, i believe Foxhound would live to fight another day, thanks to it’s R33 missiles.

      Su-24 would definitely lose in an air battle with a typhoon.

      The best Air Superiority Fighter in the world is most certainly the Raptor. It can shoot down almost every other fighter out there in a BVR fight, without being detected.

    • Tony

      They are very close to match. However, the Russians have better missiles and pilots. A Typhoon is NO match against a Russian Su34

    • kssudhirmig

      The Mig-31 and Su-34 (I assume you mean Su-34) are interceptors and bombers respectively, while the Typhoon is an agile dogfighter and air superiority platform. Going 1-on-1, the Mig-31 would probably fire its weapons and scoot away with speed as it cannot take on the Typhoon in a WVR scenario, but can outrun any missile fired at it. The Su-34 on the other hand, would rather stay out of the fight itself; if forced, I suspect it to end in mutual kills as both would be firing their weapons at the same time, but the edge would be with the Typhoon.

  • Jan Schmidt

    just a regular training flight to kaliningrad… baltic “air force” now since may 2015 deployed 8 ef-2000 typhoons from uk and italy and 8 f-16am from norway and belgium

    @Stephen: no Su-24 here, they are Suchoi-34. without meteor long range aam the typhoons would have hard times against mig-31. mig-31 use hit and run tactics in part with older R-33 and newer R-37 long range aam, can carry up to 6 lraams each, range up to 300 km. su-34 are bombers capable of using R-77 or the newer R-77-1 (same as amraam, up to 110 km range). india and china will field lraam same as meteor (also up to 300 km range) soon.