Six RAF jets have been used to intercept Russian aircraft as they tried to enter British airspace.
The British Ministry of Defence said they were tracked heading for the northwest of Scotland yesterday.
An RAF spokesperson insisted it was a 'routine response' coordinated with several other NATO allies.
They confirmed that RAF Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon air-craft were launched from RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Coningsby.
Two pairs of Tornadoes were also launched and a Voyager tanker - an air-to-air refuelling aircraft - was also deployed from a base in Brize Norton to support the mission.
The number of Russian jets involved in the incident is unclear.
It is believed they were Tupolev Tu-95 Bears, which are used both as strategic bombers and long-range maritime patrol planes.
An RAF spokesperson said: “We can confirm that RAF Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft were launched today from RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Coningsby.”
“This was a routine response to Russian aircraft approaching UK air space and was coordinated with several other NATO allies.”
In a tweet, RAF Lossiemouth said: "At no point did these aircraft enter UK sovereign airspace.
It added: "We are ready to respond to any unidentified aircraft and potential airborne threats, 24/7/365."
At no point did these aircraft enter UK sovereign airspace. The Russian aircraft were shadowed by our Typhoons, along with QRA aircraft from our @NATO partners in Norway and France.#SecuringTheSkies #WeAreNATO#QRA 3/4 pic.twitter.com/A6vVJINefT— RAF Lossiemouth (@RAFLossiemouth) March 7, 2020
RAF planes were dispatched to stop Russian military planes entering UK airspace a number of times last year.