UK Scrambles Typhoon Jets to Escort Four Russian Bear Bombers North of Scotland

© AFP 2023 / POOL / PHILIP COBURN Pilots walk in front of a Tornado GR4 aircraft at the British Royal Air Force airbase RAF Marham in Norfolk in east England on December 2, 2015
Pilots walk in front of a Tornado GR4 aircraft at the British Royal Air Force airbase RAF Marham in Norfolk in east England on December 2, 2015 - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.02.2022
Earlier, the UK Ministry of Defence reported that at least one Royal Navy warship was monitoring a pair of Russian naval vessels as they passed through the English Channel. That deployment comes amid heightened tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.
The Royal Air Force scrambled Eurofighter Typhoon jets out of RAF Lossiemouth in Moray in Scotland on Wednesday to track four Russian strategic bombers operating to the north of Britain, an RAF spokesman has confirmed.
The fighters, classed as 4.5 generation air superiority fighters, were joined by a Voyager tanker jet operating out of RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

"Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon fighters based at RAF Lossiemouth supported by a Voyager from RAF Brize Norton were scrambled today against unidentified aircraft approaching the UK area of interest. Subsequently we intercepted and escorted four Russian Bear aircraft," the spokesperson said. 'Bear' is the NATO reporting name for the Tupolev Tu-95, a nuclear-capable strategic bomber introduced into the Soviet Air Force in the mid-1950s and upgraded repeatedly.

The RAF typically conducts Quick Reaction Alerts (QRAs) whenever Russian military aircraft fly in areas near the UK's airspace. During similar incidents in the past, the Russian Aerospace Forces have maintained a respectful distance from Britain's boundaries, something that cannot always be said for British ships and aircraft operating near Russia's frontiers.
The aerial mission follows an announcement by the MoD earlier Wednesday that the Royal Navy had deployed at least one warship to "monitor the presence of Russian naval ships" transiting through the English Channel, possibly on route to an area 240 southwest of Ireland for drills to be held 3-8 February.
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Relations between Russia and Britain have suffered another deterioration in recent weeks over London's role in fueling the Ukraine crisis, with British officials joining their US allies in accusing Moscow of preparing to "invade" its neighbour, despite denials from Moscow and even Kiev.
The UK has promised to continue beefing up its military support to Ukraine in the form of additional equipment and small numbers of trainers and is reportedly being wooed by Washington to deploy additional troops elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Britain has also reportedly been tinkering with new sanctions against Russian energy projects in Europe, and has threatened to target Russian oligarchs with assets and property in the UK, a prospect which Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called "extremely alarming."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson travelled to Kiev on Tuesday for talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky. A planned conversation between Johnson and Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled for Monday was put off, ostensibly over the "partygate" Covid-restriction-ducking scandal which continues to hound the prime minister.
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