UK jets dispatched to intercept Russian planes near its airspace

Britain has dispatched two fighter jets to intercept Russian jets near its airspace.

Britain's Ministry of Defense says it dispatched two fighter jets from an airbase in Scotland to intercept two Russian planes that approached its airspace.

The ministry said in a statement on Saturday that two Typhoon aircraft were scrambled from Lossiemouth Royal Air Force base in north east Scotland on Saturday morning.

The jets were dispatched “as part of the RAF's Quick Reaction Alert in response to two Russian aircraft entering the UK's airspace," said the statement. “Both aircraft have now returned safely to RAF Lossiemouth."

The air force also scrambled an Airbus Voyager KC3 tanker from Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. The tanker was tracked heading north before going into a holding pattern off the Aberdeenshire coast.

A view of Royal Air Force base in Scotland

It was not the first time that Britain scrambled its jets to intercept Russian planes which usually pass near UK airspace.

Back in February, British aircraft were sent to monitor two Russian bombers near the UK's airspace.

The Royal Air Force said at the time that the Tupolev TU-160 Blackjacks were in the UK's “area of interest” but did not enter British territory.

NATO has increased the intercept of Russian aircraft in recent years due to heightened tensions between the Kremlin and the West over the Ukrainian crisis.