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

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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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.


  1. 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??

  2. 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

  3. ‘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.”

  4. 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.

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