Photographic Section - Page Fifteen
The Russian Bear Is Back!
Contribution by Alan Donaldson (Webmaster) 24th December 2014
On this page, I've added a few pictures that I've had for some time but as I clean up my hard drive during the festive season at the end of 2014, I found it hard to dump these pictures as one, in particular, serves as a constant reminder that the 'cat and mouse' game of aerial espionage played by Russia has never completely disappeared despite cessation of 'Cold War' hostilities in the early 1990s and when the USSR ceased to exist. The photograph is that of a Russian 'Bear' Tu-95 aircraft photographed North of Shetland in the early months of 2013 by Typhoon aircraft of 6th Squadron scrambled from RAF Leuchars. Eight similar approaches by these aircraft were made during 2013 but none amounted to incursion into UK air space according to an MOD spokesperson. Note the contra-rotating propellers!
The second photograph might have been called 'Old meets New' since it shows a modern BAe Typhoon aircraft in the foreground and a Saab J35 Draken turning together away from the camera. The Saab J35 Draken was manufactured by the Swedish company between 1955 and 1974 with service within the Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Austrian air forces. The last of these was retired from the Austrian air force in 2005. Whilst the name suggests association with 'Dragon', the actual translation means 'kite' but the distinctive silhouette and wing shape is hard to forget. My third photograph on this page makes that distinction much clearer.