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

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



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

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.’

    • 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.

Comments are closed.