RAF Typhoons Scrambled To Intercept Russian Bombers

It is the second time in four days Royal Air Force jets have been dispatched to monitor Russian aircraft.

Royal Air Force Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Typhoon aircraft were sent to intercept two Russian bombers on Wednesday.

The RAF said the Tu-142 Bears were in the UK area of interest, having approached from the north-east, and flew in international airspace off the west coast of the UK, before turning north.

The bombers did not enter UK sovereign airspace at any point.

It is the second time in four days Royal Air Force jets have been scrambled to monitor Russian aircraft.

One of the QRA pilots from RAF Lossiemouth who intercepted the aircraft said: "Our first intercept occurred to the west of the Shetland Islands, where we shadowed the two Russian Tu-142 Bear-F aircraft as they tracked south.

"The two Russian Bears continued to track south towards the Bay of Biscay where they were met by French Quick Reaction Alert. 

"We intercepted the Bears as they turned back North before we handed them off to additional QRA Typhoons again launched from RAF Lossiemouth."

The RAF did not say how many Typhoons were used in the mission. 

Additional air-to-air refuelling support was provided by RAF Voyager planes from RAF Brize Norton.

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, said: "These Russian bombers do not comply with international air traffic rules, are a hazard to airliners and are not welcome in our airspace."

On Saturday, six RAF Typhoons were scrambled to intercept Russian Tupolev Tu-95 Bears near the north-west coast of Scotland.