Cold war redux

The Russians have resumed long distance bomber patrols, an activity that was common during the Cold War, but has been rare for some time now due in part to changes in politics and, more importantly, an absence of funds. Russia has decided its time to flex these old muscles, and thus has been dispatching its Bears and Backfires again.

This is not news, but while I was on vacation, both the RAF and the Norwegian Air Force released pictures of some of their recent intercepts. These follow in a long tradition of intercept portraits, and fascinate me, even as they dismay me, as well.

From the RAF:

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An RAF Typhoon from Number XI Squadron shadowing a Russian Bear-H aircraft.

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The photograph shows an RAF Typhoon from Number XI Squadron shadowing a Russian Bear-H aircraft over the North Atlantic Ocean on 17 August 2007.

From the Luftforsvaret:

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VISER KAPASITET: Ein må tilbake til 1980-tallet for å sjå øvingar som er så omfattande som det russarane no driv. Her er det to jagarfly av typen Foxhound som driv tanking (air-to-air refueling) fra tankflyet Midas. Foto: 331-skvadronen, Bodø.

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ØVELSE: Norske kampflypilotar identifiserte mange russarar fredag, blant anna dette bombeflyet av typen Backfire. Foto: 331-skvadronen, Bodø.

[That’s an Ilyushin Il-78 Midas refueling two MiG-31 Foxhounds, followed by a Tupolev Tu-22ME Backfire.]

If you like this, I encourage you to check out this summary of all of the aviation photography I have featured here.

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