RAF jets intercept a second Russian bomber approaching U.K. airspace

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) have confirmed that RAF fighter jets intercepted a Russian Bear bomber near U.K. airspace on Friday, which is the second flypast by aircraft from Vladimir Putin’s air force in three days.

Typhoon jets from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland have escorted the Soviet-era Tupolev Tu-95 aircraft, flying in international airspace, “through the UK flight information region”.

A similar incident took place on Wednesday when two Bear bombers were tracked over the North Sea as NATO radars picked up a series of Russian formations engaged in “significant military manoeuvres” ranging from the Black Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

An RAF spokeswoman has told that the presence of Russian aircraft has been picked up by the RAF Control and Reporting Centre at Boulmer in Northumberland, which scrambled the Typhoons.

She has said: “Following a similar incident on Wednesday 29 October, the RAF Typhoon pilots visually identified the Russian aircraft and escorted them through the UK flight information region.”

The event happened on Wednesday and the other exercises led Nato to warn of an “unusual” increase in activity by Russian military jets in European airspace.

The reason is believed to be months of heightened tensions between Moscow and the West following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and military incursion into Ukraine. Many analysts see these events as a “show of force” by President Vladimir Putin.

In charge of U.K. air defence, Air Vice-Marshal Gary Waterfall has said: “The Royal Air Force was formed to secure the skies over the UK, and it remains our main task.

“This week’s news has shown yet again that the RAF’s quick reaction alert is an essential element of our nation’s security.”

In the wake of prevailing events, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has said the alliance “remains vigilant and ready to respond” to any Russian threat.

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