RAF jets escort Russian bombers seen off Cornwall

Russian Bear bombers
Russian Bear bombers
Russian Bear bombers

RAF jets were scrambled on  after two Russian military aircraft were seen off the Cornwall coast, the Ministry of Defence says.

The Russian Bear bombers were escorted from the UK area of interest, but did not enter sovereign airspace, it said.

On the same day, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon warned that Russia’s President Putin posed a “real and present danger” to three Baltic states reported BBC.

He said Nato must be ready for aggression from Russia.

The BBC’s political correspondent Ross Hawkins said the appearance of Russian aircraft near the UK coast was a show of strength from the Russians, and such incidents were carried out with political intent because they would be reported on.

BBC said it was part of a trend which had seen Russian aircraft flying close to UK airspace – and there had also been concern about similar incidents in Europe.

According to the Department for Transport, there was no record of disruption to civil aviation as a result of the bombers’ presence .

Repeated incident

The MoD said: “RAF Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon fighter aircraft were launched [on Wednesday] after Russian aircraft were identified flying close to UK airspace.

“The Russian planes were escorted by the RAF until they were out of the UK area of interest. At no time did the Russian military aircraft cross into UK sovereign airspace.”

A similar incident occurred in January, when the UK Foreign Office said two Russian Tu-95 Bear H bombers flying near UK airspace had caused “disruption to civil aviation” and were also escorted by RAF jets while near UK airspace.

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