As Royal Air Force personnel were taking part in the Coronation events, RAF aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth monitored Russian Naval ships exercising close to UK territorial waters.
The Typhoons and P-8A Poseidon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth worked in coordination with the Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Defender to monitor the Russian vessels, which included an Admiral Grigorovich class frigate, and two Stereguschiy II-class corvettes.
The air element of the mission was controlled by RAF Boulmer based 19 Squadron, as part of their standing 24/7 mission operating the UK’s Air Surveillance and Control System. This system provides tactical control of the aircraft.
In the initial air activity two live armed Typhoon aircraft that had been conducting an air intercept training serial over the North Sea, were then, after Air-to-Air refueling, directed by 19 Sqn controllers to the Russian frigate the Admiral Grigorovich’s position, to enable an overflight to be conducted and demonstrate a robust UK response to the Russian Navy’s presence.
The Russian ships were also monitored from the air by P-8A Poseidon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth based CXX Sqn. The RAF Poseidon crews can respond quickly to support the Royal Navy in conducting missions to protect and patrol UK sensitive waters. The Poseidon is equipped with a suite of sensors which allow the crew to locate and identify surface vessels and submarines, generating a picture of what is happening above and below the waves and then passing that information to commanders and friendly units.
As a maritime patrol aircraft, the Poseidon has the ability to rapidly cover large areas of sea and maintain situational awareness on multiple vessels of interest, day or night. This kind of mission, and working closely with RN surface units, is what the aircraft was designed to do.