QRA Log

This page will collate all the information we can find publicly about specific QRA’s in a Log form. This will not be “live” but “historical” i.e. only publicised after the QRA has concluded and at very earliest during the post QRA Jet turnaround process. There will be certain lines we won’t cross, ie No live information, No Tactical Frequencies, No information that could lead to “sensitive” aspects being revealed (Such as Scramble time performance, Operational shortcomings, Weapons Platform Performance/Capability, Identification of Individuals and any procedures that may be subject to security classifications) for general information on how QRA’s are conducted in as much detail as we can give click here


Date: Tuesday 12th January
Time: Lunch
Station: South (RAF Coningsby)
Target: D-AFAL “IFA6016” [Bombbardier Global Express] Operator: Fai Airservice, Nurnberg “Franken-Air”
Q1: “5KM41” ZK357 [Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4] (QRA South Station)
Q2: “5KM42” [Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4] (QRA South Station)
Tanker: “W9G61” ZZ338 [Airbus Voyager KC3] of RAF Brize Norton UK
AWACS: None
Target Originated from: Flughafen Nuernberg Airport (NUE) Germany
Reason: Two Typhooons were scrambled from RAF Coningsby to aquire an Fai Airservice Bombbardier Global Express D-AFAL that had entered the UK ADIZ/FIR/Sovereign Territory on an opproximate track from its departure airport and over Southend Airport UK. The lead was authorised to break the sound barrier over land but only above a significant altitude. Reading between the lines it seems it may have at some point lost contact with ATC. After passing Southend Airport it turned left onto an approximate heading of South and weapons contact from the Typhoon closing from the rear was established. The Typhoon made contact immediately with the Target on VHF Guard and a standard insturction was given “?6016 from 5KM42 I am instructed by Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom to warn you that if you do not respond immediately to my orders you will be shot down” and was issued a turn order. It is important to note although serious this is standard phraseology in such circumstances to convey that very clear message and leave the Pilot in no doubt what he is being required to do. The Pilot replied that he was complying with ATC instructions at that time and was ordered to continue to follow ATC Direction. The Aircraft was shaddowed as it was turned onto a westerly heading initially then taken to clockwise around London and into Stanstead Airport. This is a designated Airport for these purposes and the most common destination in previous similar incidents. The aircraft landed and was escorted by airfield operations to an isolated area of the airfield. Although unconfirmed at this time it is standard procedure to be met by Armed Airport Police from Essex Constabulary and there is nothing to suggest this would not have taken place this time. It is assumed the target lost contact with ATC at some point, initiating the QRA but it is unclear at what stage of the flight this happened, for how long and if the aircraft changed from its assigned heading/altitude/route. The aircraft is a charter Jet and its striking livery and plush furnishings can be viewed on the company website
Official Words: Via BBC The RAF said the aircraft took off from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and “safely escorted” the civilian aircraft to London Stansted Airport in Essex. “The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons,” he said.
Chatter:

Press:
Sky News: Sonic boom after RAF jets scrambled to intercept private plane

Metro: Massive explosion heard over London and Cambridge from fighter jet’s sonic boom

BBC: Sonic boom heard over eastern England as RAF escorts civilian aircraft


Date: Saturday 28th November 2020
Time: Around Dawn
Station: North (RAF Lossiemouth)
Target: 2x Russian TU-142F “Bear”
Q1: “A5N21” ZK424 [Typhoon FGR4] of RAF Lossiemouth (QRA North Station)
Q2: “A5N22” ZK324? [Typhoon FGR4] of RAF Lossiemouth (QRA North Station)
Tanker: “Y0O68” ZZ336 [Airbus Voyager KC3] of RAF Brize Norton UK (VIP “Vespina”)
AWACS: None
Target Originated from: Likely Mainland Russia
Reason: Scrambled to two Bears in UK FIR but outside Soverign Airspace
Official Words:
RAF Typhoon fast jets took off from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland to intercept Russian military aircraft operating near UK airspace.

RAF Typhoon fast jets were scrambled this morning to intercept Russian military aircraft operating in international airspace near UK airspace. The Typhoons launched from RAF Lossiemouth on Saturday morning and were joined by an RAF Voyager from RAF Brize Norton, which provided air-to-air refuelling for the Typhoons. Two Russian Tu-142 Bear F aircraft were intercepted. These aircraft are used in the roles of Anti-Submarine Warfare and Maritime Patrol. It is essential that their movements are carefully monitored when operating close to UK airspace. Russian military aircraft operating within the UK Flight Information Region can act as a hazard to other air users, especially in this case as this was busy airspace over the North Sea. Often these aircraft do not squawk, which involves transmitting a code to identify the aircraft’s intentions, position, and altitude, or talk to UK air traffic controllers, causing other civilian airliners in the area to be re-routed to prevent aircraft from flying too close. The Russian military aircraft were operating within the UK Flight Information Region. To deter this unprofessional activity and mitigate the risks associated with Russian military aircraft flying in this busy international airspace, RAF Typhoons shadowed the two Russian Bears and closely monitored their movements. Other NATO allies also launched their Quick Reaction Alert assets to assist in monitoring the Russian aircraft. Controllers from RAF Scampton coordinated the mission, liaising with NATO partners at the Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem, Germany. “As always our Pilots and their support team did a fantastic job, locating and shadowing the Russia aircraft quickly to ensure our area of responsibility was effectively policed, demonstrating our commitment to defend the UK and NATO.” – RAF spokesperson. The Voyager tanker supported the mission to provide air-to-air refuelling for the Typhoons. If a situation develops or another potential threat emerges, the Voyager’s ability to refuel Typhoons mid-flight increases their endurance so that they can redeploy and intercept further targets. The incident concluded by early afternoon, with the Typhoons returning to RAF Lossiemouth and the Voyager returning to RAF Brize Norton. They were quickly returned to a state of readiness, available to respond to other potential threats to the United Kingdom, 24/7/365. [Link]

Chatter:

Press:

Daily Mail: RAF scrambles Typhoon jets to intercept two Russian Bear aircraft spotted near UK airspace in the North Sea

Metro: RAF scramble Typhoon jets to stop two Russian planes near UK airspace

i News: RAF jets scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft over the North Sea


Date: Thursday 17th September 2020
Time: Lunchtime
Station: North (RAF Lossiemouth) Flying from RAF Leuchars
Target: 2x Russian TU-142F “Bear”
Q1: [Typhoon FGR4] of RAF Lossiemouth (QRA North Station)
Q2: [Typhoon FGR4] of RAF Lossiemouth (QRA North Station)
Tanker: “W8R64” ZZ336 [Airbus Voyager KC3] of RAF Brize Norton UK (VIP “Vespina”)
AWACS: “NATO01” (Re-tasked) LX-N90452 [E3 Sentry] of Geilenkirchen Air Base in Germany
Target Originated from: Likely Mainland Russia
Reason: Around Lunchtime Typhoons and tankers scrambled, targets were identified as Bears. The UK QRA lasted all afternoon and was eventually handed to the Royal Norwegian Air Force. It was the third QRA in 6 days for the North Station, all against Russian Aircraft. You can theorise as to the reasons, obviously QRA North is being flown from Leuchars, they may be wanting to test scramble times, to see if they are less efficient. But also the Navy are gearing up for GroupEx & Joint Warrior beyond that so are starting to gather in those areas, being as two of the three QRA’s were for Russian Submarine hunting aircraft they could be collecting intelligence on Submarines gathering for these exercises from the NATO Nations. Of course this is entirely speculative and it could easily be testing a new sensor, training new pilots or just, well, “because.”
Official Words:


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Press:


Date: Monday 14th September 2020
Time: Late Morning
Station: North (RAF Lossiemouth) Flying from RAF Leuchars
Target: 2x Russian Tu-160 Bombers, NATO Codename: “Blackjacks”
Q1: [Typhoon FGR4] of RAF Lossiemouth (QRA North Station)
Q2: [Typhoon FGR4] of RAF Lossiemouth (QRA North Station)
Tanker: “G8N62” ZZ336 [Airbus Voyager KC3] of RAF Brize Norton UK (VIP “Vespina”)
AWACS: “NATO06” (Re-tasked) LX-N90450 [E3 Sentry] of Geilenkirchen Air Base in Germany
Target Originated from: Likely Mainland Russia
Reason: At 0934z Norwegian QRA F-16’s Scrambled from Bodø, Norway with instructions to fly North and climb FL360. Before long LX-N90450 a NATO E3 from Geilenkirchen Air Base in Germany under callsign “NATO06” that was in the area anyway was tasked North to join the party. The Norwegians visually identified the Targets and as they continued to fly South QRA North (UK) then scrambled RAF Leuchars with the usual Tanker support, as Typhoons got to the area the Targets turned back North.
Official Words:


Chatter:


Press: The Herald: The RAF confirm that Voyager was scrambled in response to Russian ‘bomber’ jets


Date: Saturday 12th September 2020
Time: Mid Afternoon
Station: North (RAF Lossiemouth) Flying from RAF Leuchars
Target: 2 Russian TU-142F “Bear”
Q1: “1AJ12”  [Typhoon FGR4] of RAF Lossiemouth (QRA North Station)
Q2: “1AJ13”  [Typhoon FGR4] of RAF Lossiemouth (QRA North Station)
Tanker: “R7X64” ZZ330 [Airbus Voyager KC3] of RAF Brize Norton UK flown out of RAF Mildenhall
Designated Airport/QRA Location: East Coast of Scotland
Target Originated from: Probably Mainland Russia
Reason: 2 Russian TU-142F NATO Codename “Bear” entered the UK area of interest East of Scotland. The specific F variant being an anti-submarine platform. Aircraft were tasked to shadow, report and photograph the aircraft. They did not enter UK Sovereign territory. Only unusual from the perspective that Lossiemouth was closed for Runway works so the Typhoons launched from Kinloss as their reserve station and RAF Brize Norton was closed for Runway Repairs so the tanker got airborne from RAF Mildenhall.
Official Words:


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Press:


Date: Sunday 30th August 2020
Time: Evening
Station: South (RAF Coningsby)
Target: “FR7364/RYR8WG” (Ryanair) OE-LMB [Airbus A320 232] of Laudamotion of Austria
Q1: “3EW36” ZK319 [Typhoon FGR4] from RAF Coningsby (QRA South Station)
Q2: “3EW37” ZK369 [Typhoon FGR4] from RAF Coningsby (QRA South Station)
Tanker: “3VK66” ZZ332 [Airbus Voyager KC3] from RAF Brize Norton UK
Designated Airport: London Stansted, UK
Target Originated from: Vienna International Airport, Austria
Reason: It has been widely reported that suspicious items were found in a toilet onboard the flight. Typhoons were scrambled from RAF Coningsby to CAP over London Stansted Airport as the aircraft came in. It sounds like Stansted was its destination anyway. The aircraft landed and was escorted to a remote area on the airfield where the armed police surrounded the aircraft as per procedure. Two men, a 34-year-old man from Kuwait and a 48-year-old man from Italy were detained under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act (2000) which is basically legislation giving officers power to stop, search, detain and establish the circumstances surrounding their presence on the flight rather than outlining any specific suspected offences.
Official Words: Essex Police: “Counter Terrorism Policing officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit have this evening (Sunday) detained two men under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act (2000). Enquiries are ongoing.” LINK

RAF spokesperson: “Typhoon fighter aircraft from RAF Coningsby were launched this evening (Sunday) to intercept a civilian aircraft. The aircraft was escorted safely to Stansted.”

Chatter:

2020-08-30 (4)

Press:

Sky News: “Two men held under Terrorism Act after Typhoon jets intercept passenger plane “

Daily Mail: RAF Typhoon jets scramble to intercept passenger jet that lands in Stansted after ‘suspicious object is found in plane toilet’

Airlive.net: “BREAKING A QRA has been launched tonight to escort a Ryanair flight to London Stansted”

Mirror: “Stansted incident: RAF jets scrambled and police called ‘as men taken off Ryanair plane'”

MSN: RAF Typhoons scrambled as ‘two men removed from Ryanair plane’ at Stansted Airport after ‘suspicious objects’ found

Evening Standard: “RAF Typhoons scrambled as ‘two men removed from Ryanair plane’ at Stansted Airport after ‘suspicious objects’ found “

Express: “RAF emergency: Fighter typhoons scrambled to intercept plane above London Stansted airport”