Royal Air Force Scrambles Jets to Intercept Russian Bombers Heading Toward UK
Royal Air Force Scrambles Jets to Intercept Russian Bombers Heading Toward UK

British jets were sent to intercept Russian bombers that were headed toward the U.K., the Royal Air Force has said.

The U.K.’s Ministry of Defense said it scrambled RAF Typhoon jets as two nuclear-capable Russian Tu-160 Blackjacks were noticed heading toward U.K. airspace.

A spokesperson with the ministry told MailOnline that the jets are currently in the U.K.’s area of interest, but they haven’t entered U.K. airspace.

Undated photo issued by the British Ministry of Defence of an RAF Typhoon Aircraft of the type that has escorted a passenger plane into Stansted Airport in southern England following an incident on board Friday May 24, 2013. British media reported the flight was a Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane flying to Manchester, England. (AP Photo/ MOD via PA)

Undated photo issued by the British Ministry of Defence shows an RAF Typhoon Aircraft  (AP Photo/ MOD via PA)

 

(Kremlin)

The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, in seen inside cabin of strategic bomber ТU-160 (Kremlin)

Meanwhile, Sky News reported that the British Typhoons, which are part of the country’s Quick Reaction Alert system, were sent out from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, and are now escorting the bombers toward the North Sea.

A spokesman told the BBC that the situation is “on-going” and isn’t uncommon.

“We have Typhoons up on a quick reaction alert,” he was quoted as saying.

The U.K. airspace extends about 12 miles from the U.K.’s coastline, as the BBC noted.

A similar incident involving two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers took place in November, and they were escorted by Typhoon jets after they were detected flying over the Atlantic Ocean.

Called White Swan by its pilots, the Tupolev Tu-160 is the world’s largest operational bomber today and also the heaviest. The plane was designed as a direct counter to the U.S. Air Force’s Rockwell B-1 strategic bomber.

Around 35 of the airplanes were built, while only 16 are in service in Russia. The bomber’s maiden flight was in 1981.

But last year, Russian state-run newspaper Pravda reported that 50 Tu-160 bombers will be provided to the Russian Air Force, with a delivery date of 2023. 

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