UK airforce intercepts Russian military plane

Russian bomber intercepted by RAF fighter jets north of Scotland

Photo by: MoD
Photo by: MoD

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The British Royal Air Force has scrambled two fighter jets to intercept a Russian military aircraft spotted approaching UK airspace.

The Russian Bear bomber was intercepted north of Scotland and was escorted away from the region but did not enter into UK airspace, a British Ministry of Defence spokesman said in a statement.

At no point did the Russian aircraft pose a threat to the UK, the spokesman added.

The scare comes just a month after Russia’s Northern Fleet navy vessels were sent to the English Channel in order to carry out anti-aircraft and anti-submarine defense drills in the northeastern Atlantic close to Britain’s waters.

Russian military vessels and aircraft have been increasing their activity around the British isles as of late, as tensions remain at their highest since the Cold War over Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last year.

A member of the NATO military bloc, the UK reported around 100 incidents in which they were forced to intercept Russian aircraft in 2014.

In February, British warship HMS Argyll tracked Russia’s Yaroslav Mudry warship as it sailed through the English Channel on its way back to Russia from the Mediterranean.

A day later, British Typhoon jets were forced to intercept two Tu-95MS Russian Bear bombers as they flew by British airspace off the southern coast of Cornwall, just two weeks after a similar incident.

Former MI6 spy chief Sir John Sawers later warned Russia poses a danger to Britain, telling BBC Radio 4's Today program that although the Russian threat was not necessarily directly to the UK, Russia keeps reminding the UK of its nuclear capabilities.

The ex-intelligence chief’s comments in early March came days after Britain promised to send 75 military advisers and trainers to help the Ukrainian army reduce its fatality rate against pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east.

According to plans, Britain will initially send 30 military personnel to advise Ukrainian forces on medical training, logistics, intelligence analysis and infantry training in Kiev and western Ukraine. The total number of trainers working in non-conflict zones in the country will later be raised to 75.

TRTWorld and agencies