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RAF Scrambles QRA Jets as Russian Bomber spotted off UK coast

RAF Eurofighter Typhoon (Image: Aviation Media Agency)

RAF Eurofighter Typhoon (Image: Aviation Media Agency)

The Royal Air Force (RAF) has scrambled Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth to intercept a Russian TU95 Bear Bomber which flew close to UK airspace earlier today.

The QRA Eurofighter Typhoons are constantly on alert to launch to intercept aircraft that threaten UK airspace and as normal, the aircraft were backed up by a Royal Air Force Voyager tanker aircraft.

The Tupolev TU-95 ‘Bear’ is the Russians biggest strategic bomber and is Nuclear capable.

The four-engine turboprop first entered service in 1956 but like its US counterpart, the B52, it has had multiple upgrades and modernised variants over the years and was last produced in 1993.

TU-95 Bear seen from an RAF QRA Aircraft while intercepting over the North Sea (Image: ©Crown Copyright / OGL)

It is understood that the Norwegian Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Air Force also launched alert aircraft to intercept the bomber which was operating over the North Sea.

These kinds of intercepts happen frequently even during peacetime and are designed to test the response of enemy air defences and gather intelligence.

They usually result in the aircraft being shadowed and “encourage” it to stay in international airspace.

The UK has Quick Reaction Alert stations at RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland and RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

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