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Two RAF Typhoons are scrambled to intercept pair of nuclear-capable Russian Blackjack bombers heading towards UK airspace

  • RAF Typhoons scrambled to meet Russian planes, MoD confirms
  • It is the latest in a series of similar incidents involving Tu-160 Blackjacks
  • Planes from Long Range Aviation branch which carry nuclear weapons
  • The bombers are capable of carrying up to 16 nuclear missiles  

Two RAF Typhoons have been scrambled this afternoon to intercept two Russian bombers heading towards UK airspace.

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed two Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack aircraft have been spotted heading towards Britain with Typhoons sent out in response.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed that the Russian jets are currently in the UK’s area of interest, but have not yet entered UK airspace.


The Typhoons, which were dispatched from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, are currently escorting the bombers south across the North Sea.

They are part of the UK’s Quick Reaction Alert. The UK’s airspace covers a 12-mile radius out from the UK coastline.

It is believed the aircraft are with the Long Range Aviation branch of the Russian military, which are involved in strategic bombing missions and carry nuclear weapons. They have never penetrated UK airspace.

Typhoon jets can be deployed in a range of operations, including combat.

More recently, Typhoons have been involved in the campaign against Islamic State in Syria, with jets dispatched from the British military base of RAF Akrotiri.

Vladimir Putin has previously been accused of Cold War-style ‘brinkmanship’ over similar incidents with Nato aircraft across Europe, including more than 100 Russian planes intercepted in 2014.




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