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RAF Intercepts Russian Jets Near UK Airspace

Sky News logo Sky News 11/09/2015
RAF Typhoons intercept Russian aircraft near UK airspace © Other RAF Typhoons intercept Russian aircraft near UK airspace

RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled to intercept two Russian "Blackjack" aircraft, it has been revealed.

The Russian crafts did not enter UK airspace but strayed near enough the edge of international airspace to be in what is known as a "British area of interest".

A Ministry of Defence statement said: "RAF Quick Reaction Alert fighter aircraft scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland yesterday to meet two Russian aircraft.

"The Typhoon pilots visually identified the two Russian aircraft and escorted them whilst in the UK area of interest."

Sky News Defence Correspondent Alistair Bunkall said the Russians were playing "games".

The Russian planes strayed into a "British area of interest" © Sky News The Russian planes strayed into a "British area of interest" He explained: "They don't come into British airspace, the don't come into European airspace, but they come into what is called a British area of interest.

"These are games, in effect. The Russians, strictly speaking, aren't doing anything illegal but it does annoy the Ministry of Defence and it does annoy Defence Secretary Michael Fallon."

The planes are not what we are used to seeing when these incidents have occurred in the past.

Bunkall added: "It usually tends to be a variant of the Tupolev known as 'The Bear' but this Tupalov looks a bit like a Concorde.

"I think it's still the world's largest strategic bomber and it's the largest supersonic aircraft operating in the world."

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