Russian civilian plane intercepted by RAF jets

RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled to intercept the Russian-made aircraft. Picture: Ian Rutherford
RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled to intercept the Russian-made aircraft. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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RAF Typhoon aircraft were launched this afternoon to intercept a civilian aircraft which was causing concern to air traffic control authorities.

The aircraft, a Russian Made Antonov An-26 cargo airliner from Latvia, was safely escorted to London Stansted after being intercepted by aircraft from RAF Coningsby.

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An RAF spokesman said: “Typhoon aircraft were launched this afternoon from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft south of London which was causing concern to air traffic control authorities.

“The aircraft was safely escorted to London Stansted.

“To fulfil their quick reaction role the Typhoons were cleared to travel at supersonic speed, any noise disturbance as a result of this is regretted.

“Essex Police now have the lead.”

An Essex Police spokesman said the plane had been intercepted following a loss of communication but on landing it was established that everything was in order.

He said the military jets were deployed as a precautionary measure when the cargo plane was diverted to Stansted Airport.

He said: “This was due to a loss of communication with the aircraft.

“The aircraft landed safely at Stansted Airport at around 5.20pm.

“All three people who were on board have been spoken to by police. It was established that everything was in order and the reason for the short loss of communication was due to a change in airspace jurisdiction.

“Essex Police is not investigating the incident and the aircraft will be able to continue its journey to Birmingham when it’s ready.”

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