Two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 Bombers on Syrian bombing missions, came close to United Kingdom’s airspace.
Royal Air Force Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland intercepted the Tu-160 bombers, each capable of carrying 16 nuclear missiles, when they came within Britain’s area of interest, in international airspace over the Atlantic and close to UK’s airspace.
The Russian Bombers had taken an unusual route to their targets in Syria. The Tupolev TU 160 BlackJacks made an 8,000-mile trip past Norway, Britain and Gibraltar, heading to the Mediterranean. They then launched missiles at targets in Idlib, before flying over the Syrian city to confirm their hits. The supersonic Russian bombers returned home via their normal route.
The Daily Mail reports:
Two Tu-160 Blackjack bombers departed from Olengorsk, in the Kola Peninsula and made their way westbound, coming close to Norwegian and British airspace, where they were met by the RAF.
Once intercepted by Britain’s Typhoons, they made their way over the Atlantic Ocean and headed back east to Gibraltar, before firing their missiles from the Mediterranean Sea.
After flying over Syria, they took the usual route home, over Iran and the Capsian Sea, according to The Aviationist.
The Tu-160 – known as the ‘Black Jack’ bomber – can travel at twice the speed of sound and carry 16 nuclear missiles.
UK Defence secretary Michael Fallon said: ‘Our highly skilled RAF pilots have once again demonstrated their skill and professionalism. This is another reminder that 24 hours a day, seven days a week they are ready at a moment’s notice to protect our skies.’
These Cold War era planes are usually escorted to the Baltic or towards the Arctic, but on this occasion they were taken south as they made their way to the Mediterranean Sea.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘Typhoon aircraft went up from RAF Lossiemouth to intercept two Russian Tu-160 aircraft flying in Britain’s area of interest in international airspace over the Atlantic and remained with them until they left the area.
‘At no time did the Russian military aircraft cross into UK sovereign airspace’.
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