London Two Typhoons fighter planes were scrambled to intercept two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers from an airbase in Scottland by the Britain’s Royal Airforce (RAF), the British Ministery of defence reported on Thursday. Aircraft were sent yesterday as a "precautionary measure" from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, England.
A Royal Air Force spokesperson spoke : "Quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth intercepted two Russian Blackjack bombers and escorted them while they were in the UK area of interest. At no point did the Russian aircraft enter UK territorial airspace."
This incident is the latest in a series of encounters between the Russian and UK air forces, which have taken on a tenser atmosphere since the start of the Ukraine crisis. According to statistics obtained by the Mirror in February, between 2010 and 2015 there were 102 instances of Quick Response Aircraft being scrambled by the Royal Air Force, 50 of which were in response to Russian planes. The rest of the encounters were mostly with civilian aircraft.
In November last year Typhoons were scrambled from Lossiemouth to intercept two Blackjack bombers in an almost identical incident and a month earlier Typhoons intercepted Russian jets over the North Sea.
In May 2015 two Bear strategic bombers were intercepted after being spotted north of Scotland.Vladimir Putin has previously been accused of Cold War-style 'brinkmanship' over similar incidents with Nato aircraft across Europe, including more than 100 Russian planes intercepted in 2014.