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Intercepting Wandering Bears & Blackjacks Again (Merged)

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Intercepting Wandering Bears & Blackjacks Again (Merged)

Old 26th Jan 2008, 08:59
  #341 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 651
Quick question - its obviously a long way from russia to the bay of biscay round the top of britain and down. How do the russians preplan for the potential 'loss' of say a blackjack on route, where perhaps a mech problem would require the crew to eject, say 200 miles of the coast of Ireland? Obviously if there is a problem near the russian fleet then they could send Kamovs or whatever for Air-Sea rescue, but over the distances involved there must be big stretches of the route that don't have russian air-sea rescue cover, or do they do this another way (i.e. with other russian ships or trawlers on-route so they are always covered by their own forces and don't need to call out Bristow or our coastguard?).
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Old 26th Jan 2008, 09:16
  #342 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: UK, sometimes!
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Unless they go down within range of their own organic helos they do it another way.

200nm off the coast of Ireland puts them into the UK SAR region, and so that other way would be for the UK to launch SAR Ops to rescue them.

Just because the aircrew are still considered by some to be 'the enemy' they are not, and even if they were it is still the responsibility of the UK to save life in it's designated SAR region.

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Old 26th Jan 2008, 10:01
  #343 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I wasn't questioning whether we'd go and get them - I know UK (and others) SAR would without hesitation.

However as these exercises seem mainly "National Pride / domestic election" driven, then being seen to be "self sufficient" and not reliant on other nations/forces if things go wrong might be a big issue for them, that they're covering? Or are the russians actually declaring all their flight plans with relevant nations on the quiet just in case? Or does this not really matter - i.e. wouldn't affect the chances of recovery, which is more down to them having right survival gear/immersion suits/compatible PLBs etc.
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Old 26th Jan 2008, 14:52
  #344 (permalink)  
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When I got to work on Tuesday morning the Norwegian QRA was following something southbound.
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Old 27th Jan 2008, 08:22
  #345 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Peterborough
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Russian AF Cold War tricks

Hi all,

Would love to hear some stories of some of the tricks that the Soviets used to get up to when Bears etc would get intercepted by NATO fighters during the Cold War. I've heard about them shining lights into the eyes of pilots for example. I imagine the long endurance of the Bear would give them opportunities for some interesting and imaginative routings. I've heard that some Bears would take the usual route to Cuba and double back to try and catch the RAF out.

With no radar coverage out in mid Atlantic once a Bear got far enough out to be left alone by fighters it could turn back and if it dropped down to low-level and popped up near the UK coast I suppose it might have given the guys that monitored the UKADR during the Cold War a surprise or two. Any folks out there got some interesting tales or know of any.

Also during the Cold War did any Soviet aircraft ever breach the 12 mile limit of national airspace and actually enter what is officially UK airspace?

Also seen an old pic on PPRuNe of a VC10 alongside a Bear. Do the QRA tankers these days ever get close to the Russians during an intercept or is it just the fighters.
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Old 27th Jan 2008, 09:01
  #346 (permalink)  
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There was the time a Nimrod intercepted the Bear. All OK for a time as photos were exchanged. Then the Bear got bored. Put on the power, climbed, and the Nimrod kept up. Then the Bear turned tighter, climbed faster, and it was game set and match.
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Old 27th Jan 2008, 09:37
  #347 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United Kingdom
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I recall an occasion when we were heading for Macrihanish in the TriStar for a routine exercise when we were retasked by TANSOPS and given a Lat/Long for rendezvous with a couple of Phantoms. My skipper at the time was Bob (Bumps) Rowley, sadly no longer with us, who was an ex Phantom jockey and he immediately understood the situation... it was to be a 'Bear' intercept. He was determined to get there before the interceptors and he therefore asked for 'Max Continuous' to be set on our RB211s. Just prior to our breaking through the top cloud cover we could see two sets of contrails above us and set heading to give chase. As we broke cloud cover, there in front of us were two Bears at a range of about four miles. Bob eased our TriStar quite close in to the first aircrafts starboard echelon, whilst also giving us a running commentary about where not to go, because he described one occasion whereby the crew of the Bear dumped their trash overboard and almost 'took out' his Phantom. This occasion was quite friendly, possibly because the Bear had never been intercepted by such a large aeroplane before, but you could see the Russian crew taking 'photo's of us. The guy in the rear observation 'blister' took his pants down and gave us a 'moonie'! Bob eased the TriStar beneath the Bear to cross over to it's Port side and I can tell you that the noise from those big propellers was astonishing; not unlike someone showering us with pebbles!

What a huge disappointment it was to not have a camera with us for we would otherwise have had some great footage. The Phantom pair arrived on the scene some five minutes later and we broke off to give them a top-up of gas.

Great memories, which must have been around 1984 ish.

The TriStar remains, in my humble oppinion, the best wide bodied jet ever produced, which I went on to fly with in BA and Caledonian Airways.

Rest In Peace Bob; thanks for the memory.

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Old 27th Jan 2008, 09:47
  #348 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
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Bears would often come across North of Scotland as a pair, one 10nm behind the leader. A Tanker, Victor or VC10, might close up on the leader, whereupon the no2 Bear would sneak up behind and try to sandwich the Tanker between them, happened to me once. Certainly the Bears large performance range could make it very difficult to stay with them if they chose to try and get away though they generally just noisily ploughed on their way. They appeared to fly to metric levels and ignored normal ATC rules.
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Old 27th Jan 2008, 09:58
  #349 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Not too sure but it's damn cold
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20 miles WEST of Flamborough Head!!!

Sheez, who spotted it. The window cleaner in York Minsters central tower??

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Old 27th Jan 2008, 12:28
  #350 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: An airfield cunningly close the Thames
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Well I sat on Q for 48 hours wed and thur, and the closest I got to getting airborne was a strong gust of wind as I was going to lunch (which wasn't free, despite being forced to live in the Mess....grrrr). Come on Boris, I need some hours this month!

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Old 27th Jan 2008, 12:30
  #351 (permalink)  
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But 6 ft,

There's no such thing as a free lunch!

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Old 27th Jan 2008, 12:52
  #352 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2000
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Ah but Jacko, I believe 6ft may be referring to the recent changes that have been brought in by those bean-counting t0ssers to save a few more pennies. The logic used to be that if you were away from your home unit, you would incur additional costs by not being able to eat at home, therefore you could claim or take a Day Duty Meal. That has now gone as have free meals on courses ets. We are now in a position where our own people (livers-out) have to pay to go on courses. I wonder how long it will be before someone refuses?

Nibbled to death by ducks.

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Old 27th Jan 2008, 13:06
  #353 (permalink)  
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Location: UK (and now rarely behind enemy lines but still enjoying foreign climes.)
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............... and BLUNTIE ducks at that! I hate BLUNTIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 27th Jan 2008, 13:47
  #354 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: RAF Lincolnshire
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Hansard proves a marked increase in interceprions

"Lord Jopling asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Drayson on 17 October 2007, on how many occasions since last October Royal Air Force aircraft have been launched to monitor Russian aircraft approaching United Kingdom airspace.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton):

Between 1 October 2007 and 18 January 2008, RAF Quick Reaction Alert aircraft were scrambled on 11 days to identify Russian military aircraft."

The only remaining question is how many aircraft were scrambled on each occasion?
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Old 27th Jan 2008, 15:13
  #355 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: RAF Lincolnshire
Posts: 83
Or more importantly...

Why is it that I always seem to badly need to 10 minutes after sitting down to a scramble, no matter how many times I go to the loo?
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Old 27th Jan 2008, 15:33
  #356 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 148
Bear F

I remember chasing the Bear F you described, it outclimbed us and left us in the dust. Of course we were taking photos all the way up until the Eng realised we were at 12000ft with the port beam window still open, got some good piccis.
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Old 27th Jan 2008, 17:41
  #357 (permalink)  
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Would have been some years later than 1984, TheChitterneFlyer, as the first of the Great White Whales didn't fly in the tanker role until mid '85!
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Old 27th Jan 2008, 18:57
  #358 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Shannon ATC were even warning us commercial types about the carrier and associated air activity as we heading out over the Atlantic yesterday...though I did wonder if the Lat / Long given for the Russian Fleet was as accurate as the Zulu Zulu the fisheads used to give us years ago ( ahh maritime air defence).

Our day was livened up by the ?European pilot who argued long and loud with the sweet sounding Irish lady in ATC that the Lat/Long she was giving put the Carrier on dry land......guess who needs to do the ATPL plotting course again ?
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Old 27th Jan 2008, 20:30
  #359 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
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I did say 1984 ish! At this very moment my logbooks are in a packing crate en-route to Qatar and I was therefore having a stab in the dark for the date... 86 at the latest, because I went to Boscombe after 216.

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Old 30th Jan 2008, 07:31
  #360 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
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So, are they all up north in the Barent Sea and out of our area, or did we get any of them?

Russian long-range bombers in Atlantic war games
Agence France-Presse | Jan 30, 2008

Moscow: Fourteen Russian long-range bombers flew over the north Atlantic on Tuesday in the last of a series of military manoeuvres held off Europe's coasts since December, news agencies reported.

"Pilots will work on questions of reconnaissance, launching rocket and bomb strikes on enemy naval formations and taking part in aerial battles and air patrols," air force spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky was quoted as saying.

The exercises will be carried out over neutral waters "in strict accordance with international rules", Drobyshevsky said.

A naval group including the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier will also take part in the exercises, RIA Novosti news agency reported......
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