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RAF Jets Spark Panic After They're Seen Escorting Plane Through London

RAF Jets Spark Panic After They're Seen Escorting Plane Through London

The jets were spotted hovering ominously over Trafalgar Square earlier this morning

There were some brief murmurs of panic on the streets of London this morning (5 May) as eagle-eyed pedestrians looked upwards to find two RAF fighter jets soaring overhead while seemingly escorting an airliner. Take a look at the moment below:

Don’t worry though, it’s not quite World War III just yet. In fact, there’s actually a pretty simple explanation.

The two jets were spotted hovering on either side of a huge plane daubed with a Union Jack flag, which was snapped flying over Trafalgar Square earlier today.

Images of the planes were quickly shared on Twitter, with one witness writing: "An airliner aeroplane has just flown LOW over Trafalgar Square flanked by fighter jets!"

Many thought that the large aircraft was a British Airways passenger jet due to its size and decal. However, it's actually an RAF Voyager decked out in Union Jack colours.

The plane and the RAF jets were spotted in London this morning on 5 May.

The refuelling aircraft, an Airbus A321, is known colloquially as 'Boris 1'. It's an official government aircraft most typically used when the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers or members of the royal family are making short or medium-haul trips.

But while people on the ground initially assumed that the large craft was being escorted by the two jets, the RAF revealed later in the day that all three planes were actually performing a ceremonial flyover to welcome a VIP to the country.

"You may see a RAF Voyager and two RAF Typhoons flying over central London this morning,” the RAF tweeted.

"This is a pre-planned flypast to welcome the Prime Minister of Japan to the UK."

As it transpires, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida is on an official trip to the UK this week to sign a new defence agreement and discuss strategy relating to the war in Ukraine.

The pact will see the UK strengthen its military ties in the Indo-Pacific region.

This partnership means Japanese and British armed forces will be deployed together for the purpose of disaster relief training, general training and joint exercises, and is set to be announced by Boris Johnson in the coming days.

The visit will be Kishida's first to the UK since becoming PM. Japan is a member of the G7 as well as part of the Western alliance defending Ukraine. It has condemned the invasion, imposed sanctions on Russia and sent non-lethal military aid to Kyiv.

Mr Johnson said the two countries were 'focused on driving growth, creating highly skilled jobs and ensuring we remain technology superpowers'.

He is also set to appoint a new trade envoy to Japan in the near future.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Newsflare

Topics: UK News