Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Launch of Delta IV (5,2) with NROL-47 from Vandenberg

How RAF Jets Would Shoot Down Hostile Aircraft

Belgian F-16 Scramble


Russia Probes British Defences by Sea and Air - Belgian fighter jets among responders

The Russian military has been probing the UK's area of national interest in recent weeks,raising NATO concern as fighting between the Ukrainian Army and Russian-backed rebels intensified in Eastern Ukraine.On 8 January 2018,the Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster intercepted and escorted two Russian warships,the Stereguschin-class frigates Soobrazitelny and Boiky,plus their support ships Paradoks and Kola,out of the English Channel.
Commander Simon Kelly,commanding officer of the Westminster,explained:
The English Channel is an absolute lifeline for the UK,and it is very important that HMS Westminster and the Royal Navy maintains a watchful eye on this key strategic link.*
Presumably,the Russian warships have by now returned to their Baltic homeport.*
In the Baltic State of Estonia,Britain has deployed its Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) artillery,which is long range and precision-guided by GPS,along with 800 troops as part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence strategy.*
On 15 January,the RAF launched Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth,Scotland,on a quick reaction alert as two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bombers approached the UK.The Russian Defence Ministry said their bombers were escorted by Belgian F-16s as well as British Typhoons at different stages of their mission.*
According to the UK Ministry of Defence:
The RAF worked closely with NATO partners to monitor the jets as they passed through a variety of international airspace,before they were intercepted by the RAF over the North Sea.Subsequently,our fighters escorted the Russian Blackjacks North,out of the UK's area of interest.At no time did the bombers enter UK sovereign airspace.*
For his part,British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
The threats this country faces are intensifying and we will not hesitate in defending our skies from acts of aggression.Our excellent RAF tracked the Russian aircraft every step of the way,and they continue to police UK and international airspace every hour of every day,to help keep the British people safe.*
RAF QRA was launched today because the Russian military aircraft were not talking to air traffic agencies,the MOD added.