Russian Bombers Disrupted Civilian Planes in Irish Airspace

Russian Tu-95 strategic bomber as it approached UK airspace last yearOne plane was diverted and another delayed to avoid two Russian bombers that flew through Irish-controlled airspace without warning in February, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said on Tuesday.

The disruption is believed to have occurred during the same February 18 incident in which British RAF Typhoon fighters were scrambled to escort two Russian bear bombers identified flying close to British airspace….

The Irish authority said that the two Russian aircraft were flying with their transponders switched off – devices that help aircraft to be identified by air traffic control radars….

The diverted and delayed planes were commercial jets “carrying hundreds of people”, newspaper the Irish Examiner reported….

The aircraft did not enter Irish sovereign airspace, but flew in Irish controlled airspace within 25 nautical miles (46.3 km) of the Irish coast between 1500 GMT and 1900 GMT, according to the authority.

British Defence Minister Michael Fallon warned that NATO need to be ready for “any kind of aggression from Russia” following the incident, which came after London summoned the Russian ambassador over a similar episode in January.

Image: Russian Tu-95 strategic bomber as it approached UK airspace last year (photo: UK Ministry of Defense)