Anti-terror Jets Vigil Revealed

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by the_boy_syrup, Dec 28, 2006.

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  1. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Anti-terror jets vigil revealed
    Last updated at 02:30am on 28th December 2006
    Tornado jet fighters are scrambled regularly from UK bases to intercept any aircraft behaving oddly in British airspace, the head of the RAF has disclosed.

    Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, the Chief of the Air Staff, said there had been at least one incident per month since the 9/11 attacks requiring an RAF fighter from a quick alert unit to intervene.

    He told The Times newspaper: "The Tornados have been launching pretty regularly for any aircraft that appear to be behaving oddly: for instance, where airline pilots fail to communicate with flight control or take an unexpected route."

    And he added: "We are pretty acutely aware of the short time that we have to respond to these incidents. If there is any doubt at all about an aircraft, we launch the Tornados."

    The counter-terror operation - which includes interception of commercial airliners - is costing taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds. The bill for keeping a Tornado airborne for an hour is up to £9,000.

    Four quick-reaction Tornado F3 planes are on permanent standby to intercept any plane that deviates from strict flight control procedures, The Times reported.

    Two are at RAF Marham in Norfolk and two at RAF Leuchars, in Fife, eastern Scotland.

    The RAF chief told the paper of an incident last month when the captain of a North West Airlines plane flying from Paris to Detroit asked to divert into UK airspace because of a disruptive passenger.

    The flight was shadowed by an already airborne Tornado F3 before the airline pilot was put on route to Prestwick.

    Fighter pilots were last regularly scrambled to monitor planes in UK airspace during the Cold War.
  2. [​IMG]

    He's back!!
  3. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    QRA was standard practice not just for the RAF Phantoms FGR2 & Tornado F3's but also for the Tornado GR1 fleet as well.During the cold war,the was at least two fuelled & ready jets with a special weapon load up with crews & groundcrew sleeping either in the 'Q sheds' or a pota-kabin.
  4. The irony here is that RAF What-a-shame was closed because there was no need for a fighter presence in the south-east... 8O
  5. No news there then, they has been doing it for years, just not advertising the fact.

    Must be either a quiet news day or the 'enlightend one' needing something to distract his latest holiday from the news has seen fit to get his CAPT (close arse protection team) to feed the media wolves.....
  6. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Go back a bit further ...
    Coltishall = Lightning
    Wattisham = Lightning
    Binbrook = Lightning
    Leconfield = Lightning
    Leuchars = Lightning
    Needed lots of bases, when you had no endurance to speak of! Should have kept the Javelins - they carried more missiles, too!
  7. This story isn't new by any means. The RAF have wheeled it out before to keep their own spin machine turning.
  8. OOh a story in the press about how valuable the RAF are.
    Tony won't cut there budget then.

    Shame that Iraq isnt a danger to the UK otherwise the Army would get headlines like that too.
  9. bloody hell, sounds like we do need all those fast jet interceptor typhoons after all...

  10. Just what their airships would want you to believe. Heaven forbid they don't get their seats on the board!
  11. I guess the most remarkable thing about that press release is the idea that an F3 can get up as high as a civil airliner.

    These suspicious types must have been on final at heathrow or gatwick

  12. Tee hee. Harsh but fair. :D
  13. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    One does suspect that Mx go upwards, unlike bombs with only go down.
    However, it's comforting to know that 4 out of our massive fleet of Air Defenders are actually defending UK airspace. Supported by AWACS and the GE, of course.

    Sleep safe ... :meditate:
  14. This is what we really need;

  15. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    ... sh*t, it's a @Ning!