LOSSIEMOUTH/CONINGSBY, UK – Royal Air Force QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) Typhoon fighter jets were scrambled today from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and RAF Coningsby in England to intercept a Russian Navy Tu-142 aircraft as it entered UK airspace, Airlive reports.
The FGR4 Typhoons were supported by a Voyager tanker from RAF Brize Norton in England. The Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft did not enter UK sovereign airspace.
The RAF Typhoons escorted the Russian aircraft along with other NATO fighter jets from the Norwegian Air Force and French Air Force.
Last week – on February 26 – RAF Typhoon fighter jets also scrambled after a Russian TU-95 was spotted west of Norway.
The Tupolev Tu-142 Bear-F/J is a Soviet/Russian maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, derived from the Tu-95 turboprop strategic bomber.
The Tu-142MR is a specialized communications variant, tasked with long-range communications duties with Soviet ballistic missile submarines.
The Tu-142 was designed by the Tupolev design bureau, and manufactured by the Kuibyshev Aviation and Taganrog Machinery Plants from 1968 to 1994.
Formerly operated by the Soviet Navy and Ukrainian Air Force, the Tu-142 currently serves with the Russian Navy.
(Head photo: a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Typhoon from RAF Coningsby is escorting a Russian Bear over the North Atlantic Ocean – Ministry of Defense / RAF)