UK Scrambles Jets to Intercept 2 Russian Bombers

February 9, 2017 Updated: February 9, 2017

The British Royal Air Force was forced to scramble jets to intercept Russian bombers that were apparently flying toward the United Kingdom on Thursday morning, it was reported.

Russian Tupolev Tu-160 “Blackjack” bombers flew within the U.K.’s “area of interest” but didn’t enter U.K. airspace, a British Ministry of Defense spokesperson told TASS.

An RAF spokesperson told the news agency: “We can confirm that quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Coningsby scrambled to monitor two Blackjack bombers while they were in the UK area of interest.”

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

In October, the RAF was forced to scramble jets twice in similar situations involving Russian bombers.

A spokesperson for the Irish Aviation Authority also responded to Thursday’s incident.

“On Thursday 9th February 2017, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) monitored the activity of aircraft transiting Irish Controlled airspace. These aircraft were reported to be Russian Military aircraft,” a statement read from the agency, according to the Irish Independent.

“At no time did these aircraft enter Irish sovereign airspace. The aircraft were operating in Irish controlled airspace which extends 256 nautical miles off the west coast of Ireland, at no time did the aircraft infringe Irish sovereign airspace which extends to 12 nautical miles off the Irish coast,” it read. “There was no safety impact to civilian traffic operating in Irish controlled airspace.”