RAF fighters were scrambled to intercept a pair of Russian long-range bombers over the North Sea yesterday, as Nato marks an "unusual" spike in Russian military flights in European airspace.
Typhoon fighter jets from RAF Lossiemouth were scrambled to track a pair of Tu-95 Bear H bombers through UK airspace when Nato radars picked up several Russian aircraft formations carrying out "significant military manoeuvres" from the Black Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.
A statement on the Nato website said.
"These sizeable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European airspace."
The two Russian Bears headed towards the UK without filing flight-plans where they were picked up by the RAF Control and Reporting Centre at Boulmer in Northumberland, which scrambled the Typhoons.
"The RAF Typhoon pilots visually identified the Russian aircraft and escorted them through the UK flight information region," the Ministry of Defence said.
The Bears continued on over the Atlantic to the west of Portugal, where they were intercepted by Portuguese Air Force F-16s before turning back.
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