UK and Germany carry out first joint interception of Russian aircraft near NATO airspace – reports

British and German air forces have carried out their first joint interception of a Russian aircraft near NATO airspace, BBC reported Wednesday.

The British Royal Air Force and the German Air Force reportedly dispatched two Typhoon fighters on Tuesday to intercept an Il-78 refueling plane near Estonian airspace.

The Il-78 reportedly failed to communicate with air traffic control in Estonia, a former Soviet republic that has been a member of NATO since 2004.

“The interception itself was routine, but this is the first time such an operation has been carried out together by the two countries,” the BBC wrote.

The British and German jets were then redirected to intercept a Russian An-148 regional airliner which was allegedly flying close to Estonian airspace.

Russia has yet to comment on the interceptions.

The reported interceptions are part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission that member nations carry out on a four-month rotational basis.

There was no immediate evidence of a link to Tuesday’s incident between a Russian Su-27 fighter jet and the US MQ-9 Reaper drone.

The reported collision marks the first publicly known direct contact between Russian forces and the United States.

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