British and German planes scrambled to intercept the Russian plane

British and German jets scrambled to intercept two Russian planes flying near Estonia’s airspace on Tuesday — just hours after the US military was forced to abandon a reconnaissance drone in the Black Sea after a standoff with Russian warplanes.

Typhoon jets from the two NATO allies were dispatched to escort a Russian IL78 Midas air-to-air refueling plane after it failed to communicate with air traffic controllers in Estonia, UK Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday.

British and German fighter jets were part of a planned NATO joint air police mission – a first for two members of the alliance.

The ministry stressed that the interception of the two Il78 Midas planes between St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad was routine.

“NATO continues to be the bedrock of our collective security,” said Armed Forces Minister James Hebe.

He said: “This joint deployment by the UK and Germany to the Baltics clearly demonstrates our collective determination to defy any potential threat to NATO’s borders, while demonstrating our combined strength.”

The US military was forced to shoot down an MQ-9 reconnaissance drone in international waters after two Russian jets came into contact with the plane’s propeller.

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