The RAF’s VIP Voyager aircraft has been in action off the Western Isles on a quick reaction alert today (Friday 3 July), it’s been reported.
The jet supported RAF typhoons scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in response to a possible incursion by a potential aggressor into the UK’s ‘area of interest’ north-west of Lewis.
Since it was re-liveried for use by the Royal Family and the Prime Minister last month, it has returned to its normal job as what the RAF calls a ‘petrol station in the sky’.
It operates out of RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and supports operational training with air-to-air refuelling (AAR) to RAF Lightning and Typhoon fighters
Typhoon jets based at RAF Lossiemouth are currently taking part with the Voyager in Exercise Crimson Ocean, a joint Royal Navy and RAF operation to hone fighter and helicopter operations from the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The Voyager is a hugely capable tanker aircraft, able to carry up to 111 tonnes of fuel, the highest capacity of all tanker aircraft, with the ability to dispense 50,000 kg of fuel while ‘loitering’ up to 1,000 nautical miles from its take-off point.
The jet was at the centre of a political storm last month, when it was rebranded for use by the Royal Family and the UK Prime Minister, with a distinctive Union Flag livery, at a reported cost of £900,000.
Its use today follows its return from 26 June to normal operational duties and was reportedly on an incident supporting Typhoons scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray to a location off the Western Isles.
Picture shows the RAF Voyager jet refuelling fighters in the sky (RAF).