RAF jets scramble to intercept Vladimir Putin's 'doomsday' nuclear jet as it approaches NATO border in mystery mission

5 July 2023, 14:10

RAF jets were scrambled to intercept the Doomsday plane
RAF jets were scrambled to intercept the Doomsday plane. Picture: RAF

By Kit Heren

The RAF has deployed Typhoon jets to escort a Russian fighter jet as it flew over the Baltic Sea, close to the border of NATO states.

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British jets followed the 'doomsday' nuclear command and control jet close to the Russian exclave region of Kaliningrad, by the Baltic Sea.

The RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled from Estonia, where they are stationed as part of the NATO mission.

The Tu-214 was built by the Kremlin to give Vladimir Putin a base to launch nuclear missiles from in the event of a third world war.

RAF said on Twitter: "RAF Typhoons in Estonia scrambled today to intercept a Russian Air Force Tu-214 flying in international airspace under the control of NATO allies as it transited south and then north again with 2x Su-30M Flanker Hs between mainland Russia and the Kaliningrad Oblast."

The 'doomsday jet'
The 'doomsday jet'. Picture: RAF

The RAF jets escorted the Russian plane and two accompanying Su-30 jets through international airspace as it flew in and out of Kaliningrad region.

NATO added that there had been a spike in planes carrying VIPs coming to and from Kaliningrad.

It is unclear who was on board the doomsday jet, although it is thought that only "people of importance" are allowed on the plane.

A source told the Sun: "It is possible it could have had Putin on board or one of his top lieutenants."

RAF jets approaching the Russian plane
RAF jets approaching the Russian plane. Picture: RAF

It comes as NATO bosses prepare to travel to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, for a summit next week.

Earlier this week, a top NATO admiral said that Ukraine wouldn't be given fighter jets "in the short term".

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been pleading with Western nations to provide his war-torn country with fighter jets, including F-16s, which a number of NATO members possess.

Ahead of a key NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, Admiral Rob Bauer, chairman of the military committee of NATO, r told LBC: "The discussion on the fighters is an important one, but it will not be solved in the short term for this counter-offensive.

"Training those pilots, training the technicians, making sure there is a logistic organisation that can actually sustain these aircraft will not be available before this counter-offensive.

Read more: Ukraine won't be given fighter jets in the short term, top NATO admiral tells LBC

Read more: Female Russian journalist attacked by armed thugs, who cover her in green dye, shave her head and break her fingers

RAF jet escorting the Russian plane
RAF jet escorting the Russian plane. Picture: RAF

"We shouldn’t mix the two discussions – I think it’s important and understandable that Ukraine asks for these fighter aircraft – but we should not mix it with the counter-offensive discussion now."

Pressed on whether he thinks Ukraine can win the war against Russia without the fighter jets, Mr Bauer added: "I think Ukraine is in an advantage because it has the western weapon systems, it has the better training, and it has, very importantly, the much higher morale and motivation.

"We knew from history, basically, that it is an extremely important part of the military operations.

The Chair of the Military Committee of NATO, that the war in Ukraine remains ‘very unpredictable'

"We see it again here in Ukraine, people are fighting for their – it’s an existential fight – the Ukrainians understand what they are fighting for, the Russian’s don’t have a clue what they are fighting for.

"So that makes a difference. And at the same time, it is difficult as I’ve said before, it is not an easy job to get through those barriers. I think they can be successful, absolutely, but it will take time.

"And when they move forward, and when they gain more terrain, they will have to take long air defence systems and protect what they have just gained. So again, it is possible, but it will not be easy."

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