Great Britain did not think that the Russians bombers were simply getting an early start with their trick or treating. So the RAF scrambled their Typhoons to intercept and track two Tu-95 Bear H bombers, which were flying a little too close to the U.K. on Wednesday, the Daily Mail reports.
All NATO member states were carefully tracking the aircraft and they released this statement concerning the ‘unusual’ nature of their flight.
The bomber and tanker aircraft from Russia did not file flight plans or maintain radio contact with civilian air traffic control authorities and they were not using on-board transponders.
The report says that it is crucial for all aircraft to maintain radio contact and use their transponders. Without this communication, “civilian air traffic control cannot detect these aircraft nor ensure there is no interference with civilian air traffic.”
The bombers near Great Britain were not the only Russian planes making their rounds. A total of 19 military aircraft had been observed over the Atlantic, the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, and even as far as Portugal. Mig-31 and Su-27 fighter jets were intercepted along with the bomber and tanker aircraft. Some had filed flight plans and used their transponders, others did not.
In all of 2014, NATO has performed more than 100 intercepts of Russian aircraft, which is three times the number of intercepts conducted in 2013.
An article by The Washington Post, mentions that even countries that are not members of NATO have shown concern. In particular, Finland and Sweden are on edge about the provocative Russians sorties.
Most recently, the Swedish military last week spent several days searching a vast territory for an unidentified underwater craft suspected to be Russian. Last month, Sweden said two Russian military planes had violated its airspace.
The Washington Post uploaded this infographic to Twitter detailing what kind of aircraft has been spotted and where.
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 30, 2014