RAF jets sent to intercept Russian bombers heading to UK

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RAF Typhoons have been scrambled to intercept two Russian bombers said to be in a “UK area of interest”. The fighter jets were launched from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire this afternoon, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

A RAF spokesperson said:
“We can confirm that quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF have intercepted two Russian Blackjack bombers and escorted them while they were in the UK area of interest. At no point did the Russian aircraft enter UK territorial airspace.”

 

There have been several similar incidents in the UK and other European countries over the past year, as Nato has bolstered its presence near the Russian border.

 In September, two Russian “Blackjack” jets were intercepted over the North Sea. They were flying in international airspace that the MoD again described as an “area of interest”. In May last year, two Russian Bear bombers were tracked flying near UK airspace near the north of Scotland. They were escorted away from the area by Typhoons but were not regarded as a threat.

 

Vladimir Putin was accused of Cold War-style “brinkmanship”over a series of similar incidents with Nato aircraft across Europe, with more than 100 Russian planes intercepted in 2014 alone.

Most encouters have ended peacefully but Turkey shot down a Russian jet it claimed passed into its airspace while carrying out operations in Syria in November.

 

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