Russia has grounded its entire fleet of Tu-95 ‘The Bear’ military bombers after one of the planes caught fire during take-off.
The Tu-95 was reportedly taking off when a fire broke out in the engine causing the aircraft to accelerate and overshoot the runway.
The plane was engulfed in flames causing a number of injuries to crewmen. According to reports no armaments were onboard.
The military plane is powered by four turboprop engines. It is capable of carrying nuclear bombs. The bombers have been spotted over Britain several times in recent months.
The Daily Express reports:
The Russian defence ministry said: “The accident occurred during a practice flight at the Ukrainka airfield in the Amur region at 17:00 Moscow time.
“The Tu-95 overran the runway during acceleration. There was no ammunition onboard. According to preliminary information, a fire in the engine was the cause behind the accident.”
“While leaving the aircraft, several crew members received injuries of various severity and were hospitalized,” the Ministry added.
British jets have repeatedly been forced to scramble to intercept Russian aircraft near the UK in recent months.
RAF Fighters and a Royal Navy warship were also called to action after Russian bombers and sea vessels passed close to the UK.
In April, HMS Argyll was deployed to monitor a destroyer and two other ships from Russia as they passed through the English Channel, while Typhoons were sent from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland after two Russian Bear aircraft were spotted flying near to UK airspace.
And in February it was revealed that one of the intercepted jets was carrying a nuclear missile.
Sources within the Ministry of Defence said that one of the long-range bombers was carrying at least one air-dropped “seek and find” nuclear warhead-carrying missile, designed to destroy a Vanguard submarine.
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