The UK Government says that RAF jets intercepted two Russian bombers flying just north of Scotland in the early hours of the morning.

Typhoon jets were scrambled by the Royal Air Force to intercept the long-range aircraft as they travelled near Shetland within Nato's northern air policing area.

The jets took off from RAF Lossiemouth in the North East of Scotland before observing the two Russian aircraft.

According to Sky News, Minister for Armed Forces James Heappey said the RAF was "ready to counter any potential threat to UK territory."

He said: "RAF crews at Lossiemouth maintain a constant watch over UK airspace and are always ready to take action at a moment's notice to keep our country safe.

"Pilots launched in their Typhoon jets to intercept two Russian long-range bombers this morning, monitoring them as they passed north of the Shetland Islands, ready to counter any potential threat to UK territory."

The lead Typhoon pilot added: "It's really satisfying to know we've been able to make a successful intercept, maintaining the integrity of UK and Nato airspace.

"When the alarm for a scramble happened in the early hours of the morning, the adrenaline kicked in. 

"Working in tandem with ground control operators, and with air-to-air refuelling from an RAF Voyager, we were able to stay on task until the mission was complete, and the target aircraft departed the UK's area of interest."

A Voyager refuelling tanker was also launched and stayed in the sky for the duration of the mission to offer refuelling to the UK fighters.