PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Intercepting Wandering Bears & Blackjacks Again (Merged)
Old 9th May 2007, 11:54
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: london
Posts: 72
Question Intercepting Wandering Bears & Blackjacks Again (Merged)

It all sounds almost nostalgic.
How unusual is this stuff these days, from the Russians? A Sqn Ldr is quoted here as saying he can't remember the last time...
By Jude Sheerin, Scottish Press Association
The spectre of the Cold War was raised today after it emerged RAF jets had to be scrambled when Russian aircraft were detected observing a British naval exercise.
Two Tornado F3s roared into action from Leuchars in Fife after a pair of Russian Bear Foxtrot planes popped up on the air base's radar screens.
The Cold War era aircraft had swept down from Murmansk and the Kola Peninsula, in the far north of Russia, to snoop on a Royal Navy exercise.
Neptune Warrior took place in international waters of the Atlantic Ocean near Scotland in the last week.
The RAF would not disclose exactly when the brief incident to the north of the Outer Hebrides had happened but said no contact was made between the Russian and British aircraft.
Squadron Leader Keith Wardlaw said he could not remember the last time such an encounter had happened.
"The Russians obviously thought it might be worth coming through to have a look at what we were up to and probably take some photos," he said.
"It's a throwback to the Cold War when they used to fly in regularly to poke and prod at the edges of British airspace and test our reaction times.
"It's normal to let such aircraft know we're there by pulling up alongside them and they left quietly. The whole encounter probably lasted 15, 20 minutes."
Neptune Warrior was a live-fire naval training exercise involving warships, submarines and aircraft that took place between April 22 and May 3.
The 161ft-long Russian Bear Foxtrot was designed to fly 3,975 miles without refuelling carrying a payload of more than 10 tons - about the weight of a nuclear bomb at the time the plane was made.
Paul Jackson, editor of Jane's All The World's Aircraft, said: "This aircraft dates back to the 1950s and although the air frame might look dated it is still highly effective in terms of long-range maritime reconnaissance.
"These used to fly over the North Sea and the Greenland Gap daily during the Cold War and while it's rare today, it's by no means a unique occurrence. It's nice to know the Russians are out and about again.
"The exercise was in international waters and the Russians have got just as much right to be there as we have. We do it to them, they do it to us.
"All the RAF are doing is telling them: 'We could do this for real if we wanted to, so go and tell your mates back home'."
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