Military sources in the UK say British fighter jets have taken off from an airbase in Scotland to intercept Russian bombers passing close to the UK’s airspace over the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday evening.
“Typhoon aircraft went up from RAF Lossiemouth to intercept two Russian aircraft flying in Britain’s area of interest in international airspace over the Atlantic and remained with them until they left the area,” A British Ministry of Defense spokesman said.
The spokesman said the Russian aircraft were identified as Russian Tu-160 ‘Blackjack’ supersonic bombers, which were escorted by the RAF until they were clear of the UK area of interest.
Russian sources say Tupolev Tu-95 ‘Bear’ and Tu-160 ‘Blackjack’ nuclear-capable bombers regularly pass by UK airspace, mostly over the North Sea, while patrolling the North Atlantic.
The former Head of the Royal Air Force (RAF) Sir Michael Graydon said to the Daily Mail that “Russian bombers fly in these regions to check our air defenses and have probably worked out we are not as sharp as we were.”