Royal Air Force Scrambles to Intercept Russian Bombers
Blackjacks were near U.K. air space
On Feb. 17, two Russian air force Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers flew toward the United Kingdom — and Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters launched to intercept.
“At no point did the Russian aircraft enter U.K. territorial air space,” the Defense Ministry stated.
Russia has revitalized its once-moribund bomber force and sent it on increasingly aggressive training flights near the borders of NATO countries. And in November, Blackjack, Tu-95 Bear and Tu-22M bombers flew from Russia to launch cruise missiles at rebel targets in Syria. Russia possesses 17 Blackjacks.
“RAF aircraft and crews being held at continuous high readiness 24/7, so that they can take off within minutes to protect U.K. sovereign air space,” the Defense Ministry added.