UK Fighters Scramble to Intercept Nuclear Armed Russian Bomber
By Hunter Roosevelt on February 1, 2015
Royal Air Force Typhoons were scrambled Wednesday and ordered to intercept two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers flying over the English Channel.
The Russian bombers were in international airspace but deviated from their course and turned towards the British mainland. Within seconds of the deviation, RAF Typhoon fighters on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) were scrambled.
A Defence Ministry spokesman said, “Typhoons were launched after Russian aircraft were identified flying close to UK airspace. The Russian planes were escorted until they were out of the UK area of interest. At no time did they cross into UK airspace.”
Following that incident, the RAF confirmed the presence of at least one nuclear cruise missile aboard the bombers. The “seek and find” style missile is designed to target a Vanguard-class submarine.
One senior RAF source said, “We downloaded conversations from the crew of one plane who used a special word which meant the would-be attack was a training exercise. They know that we can pick up their transmissions and it would only be of concern if the often used release weapon order was changed.
“We also knew from another source that one of the aircraft was carrying a nuclear weapon long before it came anywhere near UK airspace.”