Images of Russian planes near UK

Romsey Advertiser: A Russian Tu-95 Bear H photographed by an RAF Typhoon from 6 Squadron at RAF Leuchars in Scotland on Wednesday (MoD) A Russian Tu-95 Bear H photographed by an RAF Typhoon from 6 Squadron at RAF Leuchars in Scotland on Wednesday (MoD)

These are the Russian bombers which flew so close to UK airspace that RAF planes were scrambled to investigate.

The images, taken by the RAF, have been released by the Ministry of Defence.

The MoD confirmed that Typhoon jets were dispatched from Scottish base RAF Leuchars after the Russian presence was detected on Wednesday. The two Russian planes were identified as Russian Bear aircraft.

A spokesman said: "Typhoon quick-reaction alert aircraft were launched from RAF Leuchars to determine the identity of unknown aircraft that approached the Nato air policing area north of Scotland and could not be identified by other means."

Pilot Flight Lieutenant Gary Montgomery, of 6 Squadron, said: "We scrambled on April 23 to intercept two unknown aircraft approaching the Nato air policing area from the north. We intercepted and flew within visual range and identified them as Russian Tu-95 Bear H aircraft.

"We monitored their progress, including handing them over to Danish F-16 QRA aircraft as the Bears flew towards Denmark, then continued to monitor them as they returned and then departed towards Norwegian airspace. Intercepting Russian Bear aircraft is a routine occurrence for us, it's what we do to maintain UK sovereign airspace."

The MoD spokesman said similar incidents happened eight times during 2013, adding: "Russian military flights have never entered UK sovereign airspace without authorisation."

Paul Beaver, an independent aviation analyst, said: "The Tu-95 Bear H aircraft has extraordinarily long range because it has fuel in its wings and fuselage.

"The planes are absolutely iconic, and they can stay airborne for at least 12 hours, if not 18 hours. It can go from Conakry, Guinea, to Murmansk, Russia, (going) through the Mediterranean and up to the Black Sea. It can go from Murmansk to Havana."

The analyst, who has seen the inside of the aircraft, added: "It's a really interesting environment on board, and I've been on other nation's equivalents. The planes ar e very rudimentary, very effective and very strong, but they have no fancy refinements.

"The aircraft is cramped, full of jagged edges, and the reason for this is that it is designed around having as much fuel it can carry."

Mr Beaver said the plane could carry "a whole fleet of weapons" including torpedoes and nuclear weapons, depending on the role of the aircraft.

Comments (3)

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1:11pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

Maybe they were lost - or even attempting to defect?
Maybe they were lost - or even attempting to defect? Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: -1

4:06pm Fri 25 Apr 14

mixxer says...

It's just a propaganda exercise to engender the idea that Russia are a threat. All a load of rubbish from the "powers that be" in an attempt to turn around the public's correct assumption that we shouldn't be interfering in Ukraine.
It's just a propaganda exercise to engender the idea that Russia are a threat. All a load of rubbish from the "powers that be" in an attempt to turn around the public's correct assumption that we shouldn't be interfering in Ukraine. mixxer
  • Score: 1

4:33pm Sat 26 Apr 14

shy talk says...

Old “cold war” tactic to test fighter aircraft intercept response times. And electronic surveillance defence systems.
Old “cold war” tactic to test fighter aircraft intercept response times. And electronic surveillance defence systems. shy talk
  • Score: 0
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