Russian bombers spotted flying in Irish airspace

Russian bombers spotted flying in Irish airspace

RUSSIAN military aircraft have been spotted flying over Irish airspace for the second time in just a matter of days.

British RAF fighter jets were scrambled on Wednesday to intercept Russian bomber planes entering Irish-controlled airspace.

It happened in the skies just north of the Donegal coast and military experts have already warned that similar military operations could pose a risk to civilian aircraft.

The Department of Transport confirmed that warning were sent out to commercial and private flights over the Atlantic about the Russian military aircraft, which were flying without making contact with air traffic controllers.

"The department can confirm that it was advised this morning of what is termed unidentified radar tracks in an area of international airspace in the North Atlantic oceanic region controlled by the Irish Aviation Authority," a spokesman said.

"At all times these radar tracks remained outside Irish sovereign airspace.

"Such tracks indicate aircraft activity and in such events the air traffic controllers will and did on this occasion inform civil aircraft in the wider area."

Russian military intelligence aircraft sometimes turn off transponders to avoid detection, which make them only visible to the naked eye.

Dr Edward Burke of Nottingham University explained the risks of allowing such activity to continue.

"Russian incursions may not only be wounding to Irish sovereignty. They also carry a potential risk to life," he said.

It's thought that Russia could be testing British military reaction speeds, and Ireland is simply caught in the middle.

The news comes less than a month after Russian agents were suspected of having tampered with undersea fiberoptic cables linking Ireland to the United States.