The Ministry of Defence have confirmed that Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets have been scrambled to intercept Russian supersonic bombers.
Launched from RAF Lossiemouth the aircraft are part of the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) force, tasked with keeping UK airspace safe.
The two 'Blackjack' bombers were flying in the UK area of interest when spotted on radar and then safely escorted until they turned for home.
With refueling assistance supplied by a QRA Voyager aircraft flying from RAF Brize Norton the Typhoons then returned to their Scottish base on the coast of the Moray Firth.
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The Tupolev Tu-160's are able to fly at Mach 2.05 (1380mph) and with its four crew are capable of delivering 12 short-range nuclear missiles.
The Blackjack as it is called by NATO, although known more affectionately as the 'White Swan' by Russian aircrews, first entered service back in 1987.
The fleet was all but grounded through the 1990's however, with the aircraft languishing under the control of Ukraine following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Having re-purchased the aircraft and with the commissioning of new airframes Russia began to rebuild its long range, supersonic bombing capacity.
The first post-Cold War encounters between the RAF and Russian Tu-160's were in 2007 when Vladimir Putin announced the resumption of 'strategic aviation flights'.
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