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27 May, 2024
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British jets intercept Iranian drones in defense of Israel

British Prime Minister confirms UK's role in defending Israel against Iranian attack


The Typhoon FGR4 fighter jets, launched from the Akrotiri base in Cyprus, are believed to have participated in the UK's involvement in defending Israel against an Iranian attack on Saturday night. The British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, confirmed on Sunday that British fighters shot down a "number" of Iranian aggressive drones, estimated to be between ten and twenty, according to Telegraph.

The aircraft took off as part of Operation Shader, the ongoing mission against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Their primary mission was to cover positions of American aircraft rushing to defend Israel. Additionally, under legal advice, British leadership authorized Typhoon operators to shoot down Iranian drones entering their area of responsibility over Iraq and Syria, where the interception occurred. The British Ministry of Defense clarified that the Typhoons did not operate over Israel.

Supported by Voyager aircraft for aerial refueling, Typhoon operators, familiar with Operation Shader, were briefed on the weekend's unique circumstances and remained on standby. This marked the Royal Air Force's first "air combat mission" since the Falklands War in 1982, as reported by The Times, when Harrier aircraft engaged in aerial combat with Argentine fighters.

The airspace where the British Typhoons operated was identified using signals provided by security intelligence services from the station in Saint Nicholas, within the British base in Akrotiri, covering the Middle East. Each Typhoon aircraft can carry six medium-range missiles and two shorter-range air-to-air missiles.

Operators also heavily rely on the advanced Helmet Mounted Symbology System (HMSS) integrated into their "bionic" helmets. When asked if Britain would participate again in defending Israel against Iran, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron responded affirmatively, noting that such decisions are constantly evaluated.

[With information sourced from CNA]

Cyprus  |  Iran  |  UK

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