Nice air-to-air image of Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber intercepted off UK by RAF Typhoon

Apr 25 2014 - 17 Comments

The RAF has released some cool images of the long-range Russian Tu-95 aircraft intercepted off northern UK earlier this week.

On Apr. 23, two RAF Typhoons from RAF Leuchars, intercepted and escorted two Tu-95 “Bear-H” aircraft that were approaching the British Isles off Scotland.

In what is the eight such kind of close encounter since 2013, the 6 Sqn’s QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) shadowed the Russian bombers (that were flying in international airspace) until they handed over the two “zombies” to two Royal Danish Air Force F-16s.

Noteworthy, the two Bears were later intercepted by a pair of Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s that escorted the Russian planes until they flew off the Dutch airspace, reportedly violated by half a mile.

Anyway, as they headed back home, the two Tu-95s were picked up again by the Typhoons that once again accompanied the Russians on their way towards Norway.

During the time the Typhoons escorted the Bears, the RAF pilots had the opportunity to get some nice shots of the “intruders”, like the one you can see on top of this post (that is the only significant development from previous interceptions).

Image credit: RAF/Crown Copyright


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  • Gyoz

    Vintage is cool again!

    Unfortunately also vintage confrontation strategy not only design wise.

  • mk108

    Russia still checking readiness of NATO and other neighbourhood countries

  • Roland Lawrence

    With the deep chin always reminds me of a rabid animal foaming at the mouth! Just out of Bear interest, would it be possible to fit the D27 engines from the Antanov An70 on a Bear for better performance?

    • Marco

      Much easier and cost effective putting a new model in the air. Same goes for B-52’s.

  • Bigdirk

    Hold on…. this is a personal aircraft belonging to the BBC’s Moscow correspondent! Check the tail number!

  • phuzz

    Looking pretty clean and shiny for such an old aircraft.

    • TJ

      Not really that old. The Bear H are new build with production started in the 1980s with the last rolling off the production line in the early 1990s.

  • stevenmarkpilling

    That’s likely also a “vintage” photo. I don’t believe the Russian Air Force still sports the red star insignia of the former Soviet Union. Or do they??

  • R.Lopaka

    Cold War II. 5 MILLION died in the 1st Cold War. Wonder if many of you were alive during the 1st Cold War? Gee, that’s a nice shiny Makarov you’re gonna kill me with. Nice air-to-air image of Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber intercepted off UK by RAF Typhoon

  • TJ

    ‘In what is the eight such kind of close encounter since the beginning of the year’

    Something lost in translation, David? That ‘eight’ refers to 2013. The Russians have been slow this year to test NATO QRA down off the UK or in the North Sea. The last time Tu-95MS Bear H were in the North Sea was September 2013.

    “The MoD said similar incidents happened eight times during 2013.”

  • Johnny

    BBC is Russian for Voyenno vozdushniye sili (Военно-воздушные силы), which translates to Air Force. And yes, the Russian Air Force still uses the red star.

  • Mr.Joe

    Warning to NATO: don’t screw around with the Russian Bear!

  • nini

    Maybe we shouldn’t be bragging about how we won the Cold War just yet, and how we did it.