RAF jets were scrambled last night to intercept Russian bombers flying close to UK airspace.
An RAF spokesman said the planes were scrambled on Thursday night from RAF Lossiemouth to intercept the Russian Tu-160 Blackjacks, long-range bombers, as they flew in international airspace over the Atlantic, close to encroaching on UK air space.
Flying planes close to British airspace, forcing the RAF to scramble planes to intercept them, has become a common tactic by the Russians in recent months.
An RAF spokesperson said: "RAF Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon fighter aircraft were launched overnight from RAF Lossiemouth on a NATO air policing mission after unidentified aircraft were detected flying over the Atlantic in International Airspace.
"The aircraft were identified as Russian Tu-160 Blackjack aircraft which were escorted by the RAF until they were clear of the UK area of interest.
"At no time did the Russian military aircraft cross into UK sovereign airspace."
In November last year, the RAF intercepted a Russian Bear bomber over the North Sea.
The Sun quoted an "insider" who said of Thursday's incident: “The RAF jets hunted them down pretty quick and kept a close eye on them.
“Usually it’s Bear bombers, but the Russians are now sending Blackjacks."