Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lincs fighters shadow the new Russian Bear...

Two of the RAF's newest jets were scrambled from their Lincolnshire base last Friday to shadow a Russian bomber over the North Atlantic ocean - as shown in this photo.

They were two of the dozen new Eurofighter Typhoon fighters based at RAF Coningsby which went operational last month on round-the-clock active duty to provide protection against hijacked airliners and other threats from the skies.

Friday's sortie came just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced long-range flights by bomber aircraft would resume.

While the incident did not threaten British security, it no doubt sent the muscle-flexing Mr Putin a clear signal.

The Ministry of Defence said tonight that the Russian Bear-H aircraft turned back before reaching UK airspace - and they released this photo.

Britain has ordered 144 of the £67 million Typhoons, which have a maximum speed of twice the speed of sound and accelerate from standing to take-off in less than seven seconds.

The Typhoon programme supports thousands of UK jobs and continues a proud tradition of Lincolnshire's role in the security of Britain. In the Cold War of the 1960s, English Electric Lightnings based at RAF Binbrook in Lincolnshire regularly intercepted Soviet bombers over the North Sea.

My late father who was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Medal served in the RAF for 36 years - retiring from RAF Coningsby in the mid-1970s.


Chris Paul said...

Did Luke nick that story from you ... without a hat tip. If so shame on him.

Meanwhile Tom Watson has found a Lib Dem cook book ...

What would your Lib Dem cookbook be called? plus enhanced graphic.

PS My dad was in the RAF too, post war, coastal command, Shackletons; and my late Father-in-Law also - Wellingtons and the like. Ditched in the desert. Never tired of hearing that story. And I was in a cadets brass band long enough to get my gliding wings and three stripes.

fairdealphil said...

Hi Chris

no, don't think Luke nicked it off me. I'm sure he would have hat-tipped me if he had.

The MOD released the picture last night and I think Luke and I posted at about the same time.

Good to hear about your dad...

Funny, my dad was Coastal Command too - he was shot down when in a Liberator (a US kite known affectionately as the Flying Coffin as it has no mid upper turret and could easily be attacked...)

he spent a week in a rubber dinghy in the bay of biscay...he only ever told me the story once...but I have his original log book and a letter he wrote from hospital to an old mate...

later he flew Lancasters, and then of course Shackletons too out of Ballykelly where i lived as a nipper.

he never took a commission, he was Warrant Officer at age of 21 and stayed Master Aircrew for rest of his career...