RAF Typhoon Fighters Scrambled To Intercept Russian Planes In UK Airspace

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It’s emerged RAF Typhoon fighter jets have today, (January 15), been scrambled to intercept two Russian TU-160 Blackjack bombers, which approached UK airspace.

This interception reportedly occurred 28,000ft above Moray, on Scotland’s east coast, with the Russian bombers having approached the UK ‘from the North’ – Belgian military planes are also said to have been scrambled.

The long-range bombers – also known as Tupolev Tu-160s – had apparently been moving in the direction of a UK ‘area of interest’, however, it’s understood the aircrafts didn’t actually enter sovereign UK airspace.

The bombers were said to have been intercepted while flying over the North Sea past Norway, Denmark and close to the Netherlands.

Typhoon fighter jets – which replaced the Tornado fleet, reportedly took to the skies from RAF Lossiemouth just before 9:30am.

In addition, an RAF Voyager air-to-air refuelling jet also set off to lend help from Brize Norton, West Oxfordshire.

The RAF aircraft could be seen circling the north of Scotland at approximately 1,500mph, according to The Mirror, with the use of flight mapping services.

According to the BBC, a spokesperson from the RAF said:

We can confirm Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth scrambled to monitor two Blackjack bombers approaching the UK area of interest.

The Russian aircraft were initially monitored by a variety of friendly nation fighters and subsequently intercepted by the RAF in the North Sea.

At no point did the Russian aircraft enter sovereign UK airspace.

According to The Telegraph, at the closest point, the Russian bombers were just 30 nautical miles (34.5 miles) of the UK’s sovereign airspace and about 40 nautical miles, (46 miles), from UK soil.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) have now confirmed the incident is over.

The mission ended about 11.45am once the Russian jets continued to travel north-eastwards in the direction of the Norwegian Sea.

This situation is more common than you might think, with Russian bombers regularly probing the airspace of NATO nations as a means of testing defences.

In February 2017, the RAF sent aircraft to monitor two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack bombers, which were flying close to UK airspace.

Back in May 2017, RAF fighter jets were scrambled at Lossiemouth due to two Russian planes entering UK airspace – warships are also known to have been sent for the purpose of monitoring naval vessels.

This latest incident has occurred during a time of increased tensions between Russia and the West.

However – according to The Guardian – there’s not been a rise among such situations close to UK soil.

There has however been enhanced activity by Russia in the Baltic States.

More news is expected to follow once available.