[Targeting Pod Footage] Colombian Kfir fighter jets intercept Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers

The two Tu-160 strategic bombers that visited Venezuela (and later Nicaragua) last week returned to the Engels base on Nov. 5.

The Blackjack bombers took off from the Maiquetia airport in Venezuela and landed at their homebase about 15 hours later; the return trip included aerial refueling by Il-78 tankers over the Norwegian Sea.

However, as the aircraft returned to Russia, details about the alleged violation of the Colombian airspace by the two Tu-160 supersonic bombers on their way to Nicaragua emerged.

According to Webinfomil.com website, on Nov. 1, at about 11:00 am, the two aircraft, registration and XM94115 XM94104, entered Colombian airspace and were detected by the radar of San Andrés.

Lacking the diplomatic clearance to cross Colombia’s airspace, the two Tu-160s were intercepted by two Colombian Air Force Kfir fighter planes approximately 80 miles from Barranquilla.

According to the FAC the interceptors escorted the Russian bombers for about 5 minutes until they left the Colombian airspace.

Here’s the Targeting Pod footage of the close encounter in Central America.

Enhanced by Zemanta
About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


    • Sure, but the interception occurred off a town in North Colombia, with the Russian aircraft heading to Nicaragua hence, Central America seemed to me to fit the location better than South America.

      • David,

        I’m not so sure the video feed is from a targeting pod. I believe it was filmed by one of Colombia’s Cessna OT-47Bs. My guess is that what you are seeing is the daylight TV channel of the WF-360TL imaging system.

    • The blackjacks crossed Columbia territory. They have some islands far north of , Columbia San Andrés, just off the coast west of Niagara. This is were the interception was done. So it is middle america not south.

      Pretty impressive for Columbia to detect/intercept the Russian craft that far north of their main territory. Says allot and I bet the Russians were shocked hence their disregard of crossing Colombian territory without permission to begin with.

      • Pls pls..cause they had a flight plan..it’s a peace time flight..in war them.birds wouldn’t even had to get close to the coast..cruise missiles..

  1. Fake ! Why would Russia violate their air space ? For what reason ? Colombia knew about the flights…come media mogers ..

    • I’ll tell you why Russia would violate Colombian air space, because Colombia has had many disagreements with neighboring country Venezuela and Nicaragua which are both backed by Russia. They did this to see how Colombia would react if their air space was invaded.

    • Nope the stratospheric Tupolev bomber was detected twice by palanquero airbase radars first time Colombia gave a freebie trusting it could be just a mistake in good faith, second time FAC intercepted the craft with 2 Kfir C10 and had 2 more in scramble, defense systems were activated due to possible Venezuelan intervention so CACOM 1 ( first jet airwing command) went yellow alert.

      Everything went through the proper diplomatic international agreements so the fighters scorted the Tupolev out of Colombian skies and the Russian pilots acted as expected.

      Later apologies were sent by Russia (first it was like “but that’s not Colombian skies) and all was OK

Comments are closed.