RAF Typhoons have been scrambled to intercept two Russian bombers heading towards UK airspace, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The jets were dispatched from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire on Wednesday afternoon following the security alert.

An RAF spokesman said the situation was “on-going” and was not uncommon. “We have Typhoons up on a quick reaction alert,” he said.

The UK’s airspace extends 12 miles from the UK coastline.

The RAF has intercepted Russian military planes six times in the past 12 months.

In November two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers were escorted by Typhoon jets after being detected flying over the Atlantic.

Andrew Brookes, a fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and former RAF pilot, said there was no reason why the planes should enter UK airspace and the incidents were signs of “Russia flexing its muscles”.

“They are not trying to provoke a war,” he said. “It isn’t a Cold War… they are just using these tactics to poke us in the chest.”