Too close to home: The Russian planes almost in UK airspace

A Russian Tu-95 Bear 'H' photographed from a RAF Typhoon Quick Reaction Aircraft on Wednesday
A Russian Tu-95 Bear 'H' photographed from a RAF Typhoon Quick Reaction Aircraft on Wednesday
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THESE are the Russian bombers which flew so close to UK airspace that RAF planes were scrambled to investigate.

The images, taken by the RAF, have been released by the Ministry of Defence.

The MoD confirmed that Typhoon jets were dispatched from Scottish base RAF Leuchars after the Russian presence was detected on Wednesday. The two Russian planes were identified as Russian Bear aircraft.

A spokesman said: “Typhoon quick-reaction alert aircraft were launched from RAF Leuchars to determine the identity of unknown aircraft that approached the Nato air policing area north of Scotland and could not be identified by other means.”

Pilot Flight Lieutenant Gary Montgomery, of 6 Squadron, said: “We scrambled on April 23 to intercept two unknown aircraft approaching the Nato air policing area from the north. We intercepted and flew within visual range and identified them as Russian Tu-95 Bear H aircraft.

“We monitored their progress, including handing them over to Danish F-16 QRA aircraft as the Bears flew towards Denmark, then continued to monitor them as they returned and then departed towards Norwegian airspace. Intercepting Russian Bear aircraft is a routine occurrence for us, it’s what we do to maintain UK sovereign airspace.”

The MoD spokesman said similar incidents happened eight times during 2013, adding: “Russian military flights have never entered UK sovereign airspace without authorisation.”