Aircraft escorted by RAF fighter jets over Reading and London today
A plane escorted by two fighter jets caused a stir as it flew over Reading and Berkshire today (May 5). Many people spotted the planes in the sky and took to social media to share photos of the unusual sight and wonder what was going on.
But there was nothing to worry about as the RAF Voyager and two RAF Typhoons were part of a planned flyby over London to welcome the Prime Minister of Japan to the UK. Boris Johnson and his counterpart, Fumio Kishida, watched the display as it passed over Horse Guards Parade in London.
Residents of Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell and surrounding areas saw the planes flying overhead this morning. The Royal Air Force explained on its official Twitter page: “You may see an RAF Voyager and two RAF Typhoons flying over central London this morning. This is a pre-planned flypast to welcome the Prime Minister of Japan to the UK.
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Fighter jets are not common in the skies over Berkshire and are generally seen as marking an important moment, such as the Queen’s birthday.
This is the first time Mr Kishida has visited the UK as Prime Minister. The reason for the visit is “to deepen the UK’s relationship with our closest Asian security partner and rapidly accelerate collaboration in defence, trade and green energy”.
Before talking at No 10 on Thursday May 5, the two leaders saw the Voyager, the RAF’s in-flight refueling tanker (AAR), and two Typhoon jets fly over St James’ Park and the parade ground. The two countries have reached a defense agreement that will allow their national forces to “work more closely together”, according to Mr Johnson.
The prime minister said the world has watched the “firm stance” the Japanese government has taken “against Russian aggression in Ukraine.” He added: “We in the UK recognize that our security in Europe is inseparable from security, our collective security, in Asia-Pacific, in the Indo-Pacific region.
“And there is a direct reading from the actions of autocratic and coercive powers in Europe, to what can happen in East Asia. And that’s why we want to work more closely together. And today, I am so happy that we have concluded the reciprocal access agreement between our armed forces.