RAF Typhoon jets intercept Russian warplanes near UK for second time in a week

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Royal Air Force officials confirmed to Daily Star Online that the fighter jets were scrambled yesterday afternoon from RAF Lossiemouth.

It is the second time the aircraft have been called upon to do so the space of a week.

Russian aircraft identified as Tu-142s – also known as Bears – were spotted heading towards Britain. 

The aircraft, which are recon variants of Vladimir Putin’s largest nuclear bomber, did not enter UK airspace.

Typhoons monitored the planes until they turned away and left Britain’s so-called “area of interest”.

“At no point did the Russian aircraft enter UK territorial airspace”

Royal Air Force

A Royal Air Force spokeswoman told Daily Star Online: “RAF quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth scrambled to monitor two Tu-142 Russian Military Bear (F & J) long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft while they were in the UK area of interest.

“At no point did the Russian aircraft enter UK territorial airspace.”

RAF Typhoons are often scrambled on “Quick Reaction Alerts” to monitor aircraft flying over from Scotland.

It is believed aircraft based in the north of Russia often use the corridor between Scotland and the Artic for training missions. 

Typhoon and BEARS

SCRAMBLED: RAF Typhoons were deployed for the second time in week to intercept the Russians (Pic: MOD)

Eurofighter Typhoons can fly at speeds of 1,550mph and are part of the backbone of the RAF. 

The jets are armed with a revolver cannon and can be equipped with an arsenal of missiles and bombs. 

Russia’s large Tu-142s meanwhile are recon planes based on the design of the Tu-95 bomber, both known as Bear by NATO.

They can fly at speeds of 575mph and are packed with equipment of surveillance and electronic warfare. 

Russian

BEARS: Russian Tu-142s are spyplane variants of the famous nuclear bomber (Pic: MOD)

Typhoon

INTERCEPT: RAF Typhoons are regularly scrambled to intercept any suspect aircraft near Britain (Pic: GETTY)

It comes after just last week RAF Typhoons were scrambled from Lossiemouth to intercept two Bears flying near Britain.

And the latest incident has occurred during a spate of incident, with at least eight more Russian aircraft being intercepted by the RAF.

Ministry of Defence officials confirmed Typhoons were scrambled as part of Britain’s role in the NATO Air Policing mission in the Baltic three times last week.

RAF warplanes are based at the Amari Air Base in Estonia and have been involved in 17 incidents since they arrived on May 3.

Vladimir Putin

BIG VLAD: Vladimir Putin has a frosty relationship with Britain (Pic: GETTY)

Last week, four Russia aircraft were intercepted on Monday in the Baltic  – a transport plane, a Bear bomber, and two Flanker fighters. 

Then on Tuesday, another Russian transport plane was picked up by the RAF near Estonia. 

And in a very busy week for the RAF, the Typhoons were in action again on Thursday.

Typhoons were scrambled to another Russian bomber and a pair of fighter planes on the same day as last week’s incident on Lossiemouth.

BUZZED: Russian aircraft regularly fly around the north of Britain monitored by the RAF (Pic: MOD)

Ministry of Defence officials believe that Russia uses this close flights to “test NATO’s level of readiness” and to conduct “intelligence-gathering missions”. 

Russia and Britain continue to have a frosty relationship, with ongoing rows over military build-up around the Baltic, the annexation of Crimea, Putin’s involvement in Syria, and the Novichok poisonings in Salisbury.

Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Forth was also scrambled last week to escort a Russian frigate sailing through the English Channel.

And also last week, Russia boasted its new “drone with a brain” can fly from Moscow to London. 

HMS Forth in English Channel

ROYAL NAVY: HMS Forth kept a close eye on the Russian vessel in the English Channel (Pic: ROYAL NAVY)

Last week, defence minister Ben Wallace said: “Every day certain states are determined to push international norms and to test the UK’s resolve. 

“The threats to the international rules based system are on many fronts.

The RAF is well equipped to stand sentry alongside our allies on the UK’s and Europe’s borders. 

“I am grateful they are there 24/7 to uphold the UK’s commitment to our security.”

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