RAF jets intercept Russian nuclear bombers over North Sea

RAF jets intercept Russian nuclear bombers over North Sea as Britain sends troops to help defend Polish borders from Putin-backed ‘weaponised migrants’

  • Fighters were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth and Coningsby on Friday
  • 2 Russian Tu-160 ‘White Swan’ bombers entered ‘UK area of interest,’ MoD said
  • Comes as Russia sends thousands of troops to Ukraine amid fears of invasion 
  • Russian paratroopers are also conducting drills at Belarus-Poland border  

RAF Typhoon fighter jets have been sent to intercept two Russian nuclear bombers over the North Sea. 

The fighters were scrambled from Lossiemouth, Scotland, and Coningsby, Lincolnshire, along with a refuelling jet from Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, on Friday.

The two Russian Tu-160 ‘White Swan’ bombers entered ‘the UK area of interest,’ the ministry of defence confirmed.

Further details were not disclosed but radar data suggested the Kremlin warplanes were retreating north into international airspace over the North Sea at around 12.45pm. 

The incursion comes with Europe on high alert after the White House last night warned Brussels to brace for a Russian invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

Tens of thousands of Russian troops have set up camp near the border and the CIA has briefed EU officials about a possible assault like the 2014 annexation of the Crimea.  

Flight tracking data showed an RAF Voyager Tanker from RAF Brize Norton was sent to shadow the incident over the North Sea

Radar showed a NATO warplane was dispatched from Cologne and circled around the Norwegian coast before heading back to Germany.

A Typhoon fighter jet over RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire (file photo)

A Russian Tu-160 (the closer jet) over Belarusian airspace today

As military hardware massed on Ukraine’s eastern front, the Kremlin today announced it was sending paratroopers to the Belarus-Poland frontier for snap drills just 30 miles from where the migrants are camped.

‘A unit of Russian paratroopers will practise a landing in an unknown territory in the Hrodna region of Belarus on November 12 as part of drills to inspect combat readiness of the paratrooper forces,’ the Russian defence ministry said.

Russian nuclear bombers were also flying over Belarus for a third day running as Putin remained firmly behind Lukashenko.  

The Royal Netherlands Air Force said that it had dispatched two F-16 fighters to intercept the bombers before handing over to allies from the RAF. 

Flight tracking data showed a NATO warplane was dispatched from Cologne and circled around the Norwegian coast before heading back to Germany.   

An RAF spokesman said: ‘Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon fighters from RAF Lossiemouth & Coningsby, supported by a Voyager Tanker from RAF Brize Norton, have been launched against an unidentified aircraft approaching the UK area of interest.

‘We will not be offering any additional detail on this ongoing operation until complete.’ 

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