Here are the shots of the two Russian Tu-160 bombers intercepted by RAF Typhoon near UK

Sep 22 2016 - 16 Comments

Some glorious photos of two nuclear-capable Blackjacks flying off Scotland.

Russian Air Force Tu-160 Blackjack bombers are continuing flying long-range missions (for training or operative purposes) along the Atlantic route becoming more frequent visitors of airspaces near NATO countries in northern Europe than they were in the recent past.

Two such nuclear-capable bombers, flying in international airspace, were intercepted and escorted by RAF Typhoons  in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) during a long-range sortie on Sept. 22.

Two RAF Typhoons at RAF Lossiemouth (callsign Y5R11 and Y5R12) were launched to intercept and escort the Blackjacks as they “skirted” the British Isles heading southwest. The interceptors were supported by a Voyager tanker launched from RAF Brize Norton and E-3D AWACS from RAF Waddington. The “Lossie” Typhoons handed over the two “zombies” to the southern QRA from RAF Coningsby.

It’s not clear where the Tu-160s flew after they flew close to the British Isles but they were probably taken on charge by other interceptors scrambled from nearby NATO countries.


On Nov. 19 and 20, 2015, two Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers from Olenegorsk airbase skirted the airspaces of Norway and the UK (being escorted by several fighter aircraft along the route) flew over the Atlantic until Gibraltair, entered the Mediterranean sea, attacked targets in Syria with cruise missiles, and returned to Russia flying along the eastern corridor (over Iraq, Iran, Caspian Sea).

Image credit: Crown Copyright



  • Mićo

    I think that interception is a wrong term to use in these situations. Fighter do not actually intercept these bombers.

  • These photos were always cooler when there was an F-14 in the foreground.

  • WpnsLoader175

    I have seen a jet that looks like this somewhere…but it was dark grey…um. This is the Russians practicing their long range capabilities. The Blackjacks were designed to get cruise missiles with in range of NATO bases in the U.K., Iceland, and NATO shiping in the Atlantic.

  • Ara Rezaee

    They look great, even though I hate the government that owns them I can’t help but love the looks of them

  • Tawse

    Maybe it is time for the Yanks to re-open NASKEF?

    Ah, according to wikipedia – in Sept 2015 ‘U.S. government officials expressed a desire to reopen aspects of the NATO base of Keflavik Naval Air Station, to cope with increasing Russian military activity around Iceland.’

    • Sir leroy

      Good idea. Keep a detachment of P-8A’s rotating in and out of there. Bottle up the GIUK gap and Russian subs will never make it into the Atlantic without a U.S. SSN in trail. The Russian Navy is a joke with few modern SSNs, but even their old clunkers need to be kept track of lest another one sinks close to U.S., French or UK shores and contaminates an entire sea-area with radioactive waste. After all, Russian subs have one foot out to sea, the other one standing in a deep, watery grave.

      • Pepe Le Cox

        you’re delusional, don’t read more Tom Clancy novels mate! :)

  • InklingBooks

    These intercepts are irritating and costly. NATO countries need to respond appropriately, perhaps by doing safety checks on commercial flights in Russian plans. Cite the plane and don’t let it take off until the problem is fixed.

    Would Russia respond in kind? Maybe, but by engaging in a one-by-one response to fly bys, Russia would know the real reason. And keep in mind that, by delaying Western flights to and from Russia, the country would be making itself a less desirable destination for tourism and business.

    It’s the weak NATO response that’s allowing these flights to continue. NATO is imposing no costs on Russia.

    • Marang Lesedi

      Calm down! Everyone knows that the great ‘Russian’ threat is a beast created by Western media houses to keep you all flocking to their news stands. Historically Russia has never been the aggressor except when there was clear evidence a breach of its borders was imminent.

  • sferrin


  • Holztransistor

    Beautiful plane. Reminds me to assemble the plastic kit from Trumpeter I have bought some time ago.

  • New User

    They would look absolutely stunningly superb, painted in a deep, matte shade of Russian Red. (krasni)

    • Tawse

      With a huge photo of Putin smiling on the tail fin?

  • Raold

    Intercepting is the wrong term, these aircraft were not operational’ and flying well below that maximum operational speed. Used in earnest, god forbid, these aircraft would be traveling well in excess of mach 2, which, if you ask any interceptor pilot, makes it very difficult if not impossible to effectively intercept. It is a speed to ‘stand off cruise missile’ delivery weapon, which makes it very formidable indeed.