"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Typhoons scramble in Cold War Mk II stand off with Russian Bears

The Daily Mail today adds further details about the launching of Typhoons on Friday from Coningsby, Lincs. on their first action sortie of the new Cold War.(MOD)

Two Russian Bear bombers were detected approaching British airspace on Friday across the North Atlantic, at high altitude. Unlike commercial airliners, they filed no flight plan in advance (BBC repeat this) - although Russian sources deny this.

Ground Controllers sent 2 armed Tornado GR3A fighters took off from RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire. The Russians Bear would not be moved and as the initial planes were running low on fuel, were replaced by a second pair.

Then it was decided to scramble 2 Eurofighter Typhoons, from XI Squadron at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, were sent up. Eventually,the Russian aircrew turned for home - without ever breaching UK air space.

It is interesting to note that the Typhoon pictured inthe RAF picture has the supersonic graded long distance fuel tanks - these seriously impair acrobatic manouevreing and speed. Have we no in-flight re-fuelling facilities ? The first Tornado's sent aloft were, "running low on fuel" as well.

The MOD announcement says, "Over the next nine months, the Typhoons will progressively replace Tornado F3s, the aircraft which have performed this duty for many years. "

Sat waiting in Hardened Aircraft Shelters the planes will take 4 minutes from shout to lift off - On July 11th Officer Commanding 3 Squadron, Wing Commander Lol Bennett said:

"The requirement for Typhoon was set in 1985 and today is a proud day because Typhoon is now ready to deliver. She is now operational in Southern England and is protecting the UK against potential agressors."

Chief of the Air Staff Sir Glenn Torpy said,"This is a significant day for Typhoon - the performance of the aircraft is stunning. Since 9/11 we have doubled the number of aircraft on Quick Reaction Alert to take into account possible attacks in UK air space that might be directed at centres of population and key installations. "

22 years ......and £ ? Mn's later .. and ready for Cold War Mark II.

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