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Russia: Military Aircraft

Volume 476: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on which occasions RAF aircraft have flown sorties in response to unannounced incursions by Russian military aircraft into areas adjacent to United Kingdom airspace in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (206366)

In the last 12 months no Russian aircraft have penetrated UK national airspace. However, Russian aircraft have approached or entered the NATO Air Policing Area (APA) for which the UK has responsibility.

I am withholding the exact dates that Russian military aircraft entered the APA as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces. However, the following table gives the number of days within a month that Quick Reaction Alert aircraft have been launched to identify Russian military aircraft approaching or entering the APA.

Number

2007

May

0

June

0

July

2

August

1

September

3

October

4

November

5

December

2

2008

January

2

February

0

March

1

April

1