British Typhoon and F35 Lightning pilots team up with US heavy bombers in show of strength

Daily Mail

Dramatic cockpit footage has captured the moment an RAF jet intercepted a Russian bomber as it headed towards British airspace on Friday, as tensions on the Poland-Belarus border ratcheted up and fears grew of an invasion of Ukraine.

The two nuclear-capable Russian Tu-160 ‘White Swan’ bombers entered ‘the UK area of interest,’ the MoD confirmed after the incident.

The Kremlin warplanes approached Dutch airspace before being intercepted by the RAF and were seen heading north into international airspace over the North Sea at around 12.45pm, according to Mil Radar.

The dramatic video from inside the cockpit of one of the Russian planes – often used to probe NATO air defences – shows its its flight above ‘neutral waters’.

After demonstrating the two supersonic bombers taking off and re-fuelling in mid-air, the video cuts to showing British Typhoon fighter jets flying closely along-side.

The Typhoons were scrambled from Lossiemouth, Scotland, and Coningsby, Lincolnshire, along with a refuelling jet from Brize Norton, Oxfordshire as British troops were deployed at the Polish border amid a Kremlin-backed migrant crisis.

‘Typhoon fighters were scrambled against unidentified aircraft approaching the UK area,’ an RAF spokesperson said. ‘Subsequently, our fighters escorted the Russian aircraft out of the UK’s area of interest.

‘At no time did the Russian bombers enter UK sovereign airspace.’

A Russian spokesperson insisted: ‘All flights of aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Force are performed in strict compliance with the international rules of using air space.’

A Russian defence ministry spokesperson admitted the enormous long-range aircraft carried out 15-hour flights off the north coast of Scotland, but were escorted away by the RAF jets.

‘Two strategic Tu-160 long-range aviation rocket carriers performed a scheduled flight in the air space above the neutral waters of the Barents, Norwegian and North Seas,’ a spokesperson said.

The incursion came with Europe at battle stations, as Putin is backing a ‘hybrid war’ using migrants to sow chaos at Poland’s border while sending tens of thousands of troops to the frontier with Ukraine for a possible invasion.

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