Vladimir Putin’s move yesterday sending planes capable of carrying cruise missiles so close to British shores is pretty shady – and it could be seen as an act of aggression.
British war planes on high alert scrambled to intercept two Russian bombers capable of carrying nuclear missiles as they flew south of Bournemouth.
Typhoon jets were dispatched from two RAF bases and flew alongside the long-range Russian Bear aircraft until they were out of the region.
The Daily Mail reports that A defence source said the RAF always ‘maintains the highest level of readiness’, just as in the days of Battle of Britain.
The Typhoons were dispatched from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. They were so close to the Russian planes – roughly 1,000ft away – that they could signal to the pilots.
A QRA is launched to intercept aircraft that cannot be identified by any other means. In this case, the Russians would either not have filed a flight plan, not transmitted a recognisable surveillance radar code, or failed to talk to air traffic control.
Elizabeth Quintana, of defence think-tank the Royal United Services Institute, said: ‘This case is very unusual. Normally Russian Bears come past Norway and down the North Sea. It could have been used to probe the RAF speed of reaction south.’
Well, Putin, looks like you have some explaining to do. Why would you send such capable weaponry so close to UK airspace, unless you were on a reconnaissance mission? Stand at the ready, my mates across the pond. Putin definitely needs and eye kept on him
Written by Katie McGuire. Follow Katie on Twitter @GOPKatie