Gas Week

EWN Publishing

7 September: RAF fighters scramble to intercept eight Russian bombers nearing Britain

Posted by gasweek on 21 September, 2007

The latest airborne incursion in Britain by Russian planes marked the first time the RAF has been confronted with so many aircraft at once, reported The Courier Mail (8/9/2007, p.44). UK wary of Russian border games: Commanders responded with their own show of force, dispatching four Tornado F3 fighers along with an airborne early warning radar aircraft, accompanied by a refuelling tanker. The Russian intruders turned back before breaching British airspace 20km off the Scottish coast, but RAF insiders admitted Moscow’s apparent determination to carry on flexing its military muscles was beginning to give some cause for concern.

Slump in UK-Russian relations: The TU-95 Bear bomber is a long-range strike aircraft designed to carry nuclear bombs and now used as a spy plane. Relations between London and Moscow are at their worst since the Cold War ended. Russia’s refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoy, a former KGB bodyguard suspected of murdering Alexander Litvinenko in London last year, led to tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats. Russia’s ties with the West are also strained over US plans for missile defence bases in the Czech Republic and Poland.

The Courier Mail, 8/9/2007, p. 44

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