RAF pilots intercepted 50 Russian aircraft during the air policing mission in Eastern Europe.
Why it matters
The interception of Russian aircraft by the RAF demonstrates the commitment of the UK and its allies in safeguarding European airspace and standing against potential threats.
What the papers say
The Royal Air Force has delivered a powerful message of unity to Russian president Vladimir Putin with the interception of dozens of Russian aircraft during its leadership of a Nato air policing mission in Estonia, Ben Wallace has said. (The Independent) Hundreds of RAF pilots and personnel have spent months away from their families, working round-the-clock alongside our allies to keep Europe's skies safe. (Metro)
How we got here
The deployment, named Op Azotize, began with RAF pilots flying missions alongside the German Air Force, during which the first ever air joint air intercept between Nato allies took place. The members of the 140 Expeditionary Air Wing (140 EAW) had been deployed to Amari Air Base since the start of March, along with a squadron of RAF Typhoon fighter jets, to conduct Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) intercepts of Russian aircraft transiting close to Nato airspace. (The Independent)
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