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Fighters launched to intercept Russian bombers north of Scotland

British Typhoon fighter jets intercepted two Russian maritime patrol bombers in international airspace north of Scotland today.

“Pilots launched their Typhoon aircraft this morning to intercept two Russian long-range bombers and followed them as they passed north of the Shetland Islands, ready to counter any potential threat to British territory,” said UK Minister of Armed Forces James Heappey.

Heappey stated that the Typhoons monitored the Russian Tu-142 Bear-F and Tu-142 Bear-J maritime patrol planes, which are used for reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare. The Russian aircraft subsequently left the airspace under British surveillance.

Russians: Routine flights over international waters

The Russian Ministry of Defence announced that Russian strategic bombers conducted “routine flights over international waters in the Arctic region” today. “All flights were conducted in strict accordance with international airspace rules,” the ministry said. The longest flight lasted more than seven hours, the Russians reported.

Shortly before that, the Russian ministry said it had scrambled a MiG-29 jet after a Norwegian Air Force aircraft allegedly approached Russian airspace over the Barents Sea. In a statement on Telegram, the ministry said the Norwegian plane ultimately did not enter Russian airspace and turned back.

‘Not a common occurrence’

Earlier today, it was also reported that two Dutch F-16s had taken off to intercept Russian bombers. The two Russian aircraft were flying toward the area monitored by the Netherlands for NATO, prompting the Ministry of Defense to scramble the Dutch aircraft. It’s not clear whether these are the same bombers that were later intercepted north of Scotland.

The two Russian bombers were spotted over international waters north of Denmark. The Danish Air Force was able to intercept the Russian planes, after which the bombers turned back. The bombers did not enter Dutch airspace.

Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson is a native of Leeds, journalist and PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow. She is mainly interested in foreign affairs, geopolitics and investigative journalism.

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