Tornados scramble for Russian Bear

Last week, in an episode that could have been taken from the
dark days of the Cold War, Britain's
air-defence Tornado aircraft scrambled to meet two incoming Russian TU142(F) Bear
bombers speeding towards the UK
across the North Sea, apparently on a spying mission.

Two Tornado F3 fighters took off from RAF Leuchars in Fife
and intercepted the Bears in international airspace.

The two Bears were spotted during a major Royal Navy
exercise (Neptune Warrior) to the north of the Outer Hebrides. Commanders
believe they were planning to spy on the warships, including the aircraft
carrier Illustrious.

After shadowing the Russians for some 15 minutes, they
watched as the giant bombers turned and headed home to their base in Murmansk,
in a set piece spy play similar to the skirmishes during the 1970s and 80s, when
Bear bombers probed the UK's
defences to test the response. 

While such visits from the Russians have become extremely
rare, the latest one is a reminder that Moscow's
long-term ambitions are not entirely clear and that the old Cold War rivalries
could well resurface.

Under President-Putin – a former KGB general – Russia
has been flexing its economic muscle by cutting off gas flows to the West,
highlighting Europe's growing dependence on its energy,
and the Kremlin has also begun to take a more aggressive stance in foreign


We live in very uncertain times, and if ever this country
needed to stop running down our armed services, now is the time, with the
Government heeding the calls of Senior Defence Staff to put more money and
planning into the defences of Britain.

Or maybe they just wanted a photo of Gordon Brown's house, also in Fife.



About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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