RAF intercepts Russian bombers near UK airspace

Two Russian Blackjack Bombers were intercepted by the RAF over the North Sea as they were approaching a UK “area of interest”

Two Russian Blackjack Bombers were intercepted by the RAF over the North Sea as they were approaching a UK “area of interest”, the RAF has confirmed.

Two RAF Typhoon fighter jets scrambled to intercept two long-range Russian Bombers on Monday morning.

An RAF spokesman said a "variety of friendly nation fighters" initially monitored the Russian aircraft, before the RAF moved to intercept them.

Th The Tupolev Tu-160s, known to Nato as Blackjacks, were monitored on Monday as they flew past Norway and Denmark and near the Netherlands.

The Russian aircraft did not enter sovereign UK airspace, he said.

The spokesman added: "We can confirm that 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."

Both Russia and Nato, including Britain, routinely test reactions with such sorties, sometimes flying almost up to the boundaries of each other’s airspace. Blackjacks make flights close to UK airspace about eight to nine times a year.

Despite an increase in diplomatic tension between Moscow and the west, the number of such sorties by Russia towards UK airspace has not increased. However, there has been a  rise in activity by Russia around the Baltic states, where the RAF is also deployed..

Last May, RAF fighter jets were scrambled from Lossiemouth after two Russian planes entered UK airspace.

The RAF is on standby to intercept any unidentified military or civilian aircraft around UK airspace.

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