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Jets scrambled to monitor Russian bombers twice in a week

Typhoons from Lossiemouth were sent to watch the Blackjack bombers over the North Sea.

Blackjack: Russian bombers regularly fly near UK airspace (file pic).
Blackjack: Russian bombers regularly fly near UK airspace (file pic). © UK Crown copyright 2018

RAF jets from Lossiemouth have been scrambled to monitor Russian bombers twice in the past week, the MoD has said.

The latest incident happened on Wednesday, when Typhoons were sent to monitor two Tupolev Blackjack supersonic bombers that had flown over Norway and the North Sea.

The MoD said the aircraft did not enter UK territorial airspace.

A spokesman said: "We can confirm that RAF quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth scrambled to monitor two Blackjack bombers while they were in the UK area of interest.

"At no point did the Russian aircraft enter UK territorial airspace."

A similar incident took place on March 29, with Lossiemouth Typhoons and a Voyager tanker from RAF Brize Norton scrambled to monitor a pair of Blackjacks which had passed through international airspace.

Two days prior to that incident, Russian aircraft were tracked near UK airspace but no RAF jets were launched.

The MoD said: "The RAF routinely identify, intercept and escort Russian aircraft that transit international airspace within proximity to the UK's area of interest."

The incidents took place as Nato forces are in Scotland for a training exercise called Exercise Joint Warrior.

More than 10,000 military personnel, 35 warships, five submarines and 59 aircraft and helicopters from 13 countries are taking part in the exercise, which ends on April 11.

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