Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to unleash a supersonic bomber towards Britain which can outrun the Royal Air Force’s fastest fighter jets.
The introduction of the Blackjack follows sorties by other Russian aircraft near Cornwall last month which disrupted commercial flights and sparked major security fears.
On that occasion, RAF pilots flying Typhoon jets easily caught up with two propeller-driven Bear bombers and directed their crews away from UK airspace.
The incident led to Russia’s ambassador to Britain being summoned to the Foreign Office to explain the mission.
But the Blackjack (Tu-160M) is three times faster than the Bear and can fly four times further than the fighters that make up Britain’s Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) squadrons, according to experts.