Friday, March 26, 2010

Russian Tu-160 bomber jets intercepted above Britain

British Ministry of Defence published a series of images showing two Russian Tu-160 bombers flying in the UK airspace. The incident occured on March 10, 2010 and it was one of the many intercepts made by the Britain Air Forces in the last 12 months. The Russian bomber jets were escorted by two British Tornato F3 fighter jets belonging to RAF's 111 Squadron. The fighter jets were sent from the Leuchars base, Scotland to accompany the Tu-160's as they were getting closer from the Isle of Lewis. The Tordanos shadowed the Russian planes as they were moving south, then north along the Nothern Ireland coast and finally leaving the UK space. Mark Gorringe, the commander of the 111 Squadron said that this was not an unusual incident and the british crews have successfully intercepted the Russian aircrafts on more than 20 times since the beginning of 2009. The Russian officials confirmed the presence of the planes in the area but denied the violation of the UK territory. Tupolev Tu-160 - known as Blackjack by NATO forces - is a supersonic strategic bomber with wings of variable geometry designed in the Soviet Union. The Russian jet is similar but faster than the american counterpart bomber B-1 Lancer. Tu-160 is the last soviet strategic bomber and considered the biggest fighter jet ever built.


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