Several news sources have reported over the weekend that RAF Tornados bombing Islamic State targets in Iraq are to be armed with air-to-air missiles to protect them from attack and that RAF pilots have been cleared to fire on hostile Russian jets. The Sunday Times features a similar story and quotes a military source who is alleged to have said “up until now there has been no or little air-to-air threat, but the situation has changed and we need to respond accordingly”.

An MOD spokesperson said:

“There is no truth in this story.”

Russia had summoned Britain’s defence attache in Moscow to explain reports that RAF pilots had been authorised to shoot down Russian aircraft in the Middle East, the Foreign Office says.

The Foreign Office said the reports, over the weekend, had been inaccurate.

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Andy Berry

??? There are rules. They are professionals. They don’t go about letting loose missiles on a whim! That would escalate into a fiasco real quick

UK Defence Journal

We were as surprised as you to hear newspapers suggest otherwise.

Andy Berry

Which expert wanted a consultancy fee for this valuable insight…………….They need to find a darkened room and have a long lie down!

Pete Martin

The media need to be pulled up on this,and stop the bullshit reporting,the situation is sensative already.

Martin Melvin

These papers are comics when it comes to defence though. I remember reading about a typhoon and the picture was of a early mark tornado.

Andy Berry

probably the same ones that said they sailed nuclear subs up the river trent (at night of course) for refuelling in Derby…………they had photos and everything in the papers lol – the refuelling base was actually a portacabin office lmao

Brian Emch

oh yeah everyone bow down to Russia now lol

Keith Pritchard

You can’t believe anything that is printed in British newspapers, they put into print fabricated stories at a whim, no matter who the stories hurt or what risk they put the country at, anything to make a fast buck, it is high time that they were prosecuted for stories found to be false, if they can’t prove or validate the story it should not be used, they hide behind the freedom of speech card, but what about peoples rights.

Sun Chantes

Shoot for what?

Warren Brewster

Usual papers nonsense

Norman Sufrin

As if! We think of the consequences then act accordingly, not shoot then answer questions later. If there is one thing we have learned from Gulf War 1/2 and Afghan, it’s to get the facts right first and dwell a pause before causing a shit storm. This is modern warfare. A thinking man’s game


I think it depends on how you read the story. I would be very surprised if there are not rules on engagement in place, that would allow the pilots to defend themselves in the event of agressive actions by Russian or any other planes that endangered the pilot. If they don’t such rules in place, it would be insanely stupid.


p.s. i would be also stunned if they had changed these rules in light of what is going on in Syria. Shooting down a russian jet would be an act of war, and i doubt there is any desire from anyone for that to happen.

david southern

Well, its a matter of time. This is a dangerous situation. The UK and the US are not going to take any chances here; if the Russians lock a radar then they’re likely to find a missile heading their way.

David L Thomas

professionals and let be realistic we couldn’t win a fight against Russia at all, 1 example 7,000 Nuclear against 225. We should keep out of being a global player and concentrate more at protecting our country at home.

david southern

225 are enough to remove every major city in Russia. 7,000 (of which only 2,250 are believed to be in a fit state) are irrelevant! The Russians talk all the time about their nuclear weapons because its the only card they have.

Jason Bartlett

In a nuclear fight it would not be us against russia if it ever got to that point it would be nato against russia but i doubt even putin is that daft. In a jet fight we could more than deal with the Russian jets, but again if it did happen the amount of nato forces in the area more than out class the russians and dont forget an act of war on one nato member is an attack on all members.

Ronald O'keefe

I should think fucking hope not


I dont believe for one moment that RAF tornadoes are not armed with air to air missiles considering the potential for a hostile encounter in the region.

And we should stop complaining about Putin allegedly bombing the “wrong terrorists”. You’d have thought we’d have learnt our lesson with regime changes in the region by now

It is Russia they have lied they just what to invade us

James Bartlett

Can are GR4s fire air to air missiles?

Pete Tinsley

Of course. They carry sidewinders.

Dave Stone

They are operating in a war zone and entitled to defend themselves, so why wouldn’t they carry a range of weaponry. However, there are strict rules of engagement and these guys are very professional so unlikely to loose off shots on a whim.

Technically, are Russian jets counted as hostile in this scenario??

Chris Harding

Russia is acting like that weaselly player at a Ice hockey game, they instigate a scrap then claim the victim when they get hit back. they just lost a fighter antagonizing the Turks with their guidance systems.

while I pray they never have to be used the GR4’s lugging a ASRAM or two will make them think twice about harrasing our strike fighters


I don’t think so, as we are not at war with Russia.

However, if the nations don’t coordinate properly, its only a matter of time before there is a incident.


It seems negligent in my opinion not to have Typhoon escorts for the Tornadoes considering the trigger happy Turks/Ruskiesand Syrians.

Simon Quarry

Whilst I welcome the correction of our illustrious “rags”‘s bullsh..; I can’t help but wonder if you would be telling us by this page if things WERE getting any worse……

Concerned Reader

For clarity, the recognised air picture over Syria is this: UK have Tornado GR4 and Typhoon FGR4 aircraft in the skies; neither asset requires an escort from the other, however they don’t operate singularly nor autonomously. These aircraft are operating against pre-planned, NATO recognised, legitimate targets. NATO allies are operating various platforms, with the combined aim of degrading Daesh and other Jihadist groups capabilities. Russia are operating multiple variants of 3rd to 5th generation fighters, focussing on ‘their own’ target packs and within their recognised) threat criteria. It is widely reported that Russia is supportive of the Assad regime, so… Read more »


fuck britain, fuck the usa, fuck france, fuck all the countries and fuck the us and british colonies and whore houses (ksa, qatar, bahrain, jordan…) fighting for the terrorist organisation (ISIS) survival, fuck every country in support for terrorism in the arab world.

fuck the bitches: obama, holland, cameron and all their mercenaries the sons of bitches (the arab presidents and kings)


What is it with the British?
They instigated WWII by goading Poland to harass Germany, now they’re illegal combatants in a country where they want regime change so they can run an oil pipeline through Syria so that Europe wont be reliant on Russian fuel. Yes, this is why the west instigated a violent coup in Ukraine as well.
The rest of the world is not stupid – we know whats going on and this time, the west cannot claim the moral or ethical high ground.

François Legrand

Those British news sources that report these kind of facts should be ordered to show where the information comes from. If they can not, or refuse to name their sources, the newspaper-radiostation-TV station should be closed. This has nothing to do any more with freedom of press. In the actual situation, it should be considered as “putting the national and international safaty in danger”. I hope the new prime minister of the UK has the courage to talk direct to president Putin. Even apologize for the damage that has been done. POINT !! By the way: I hope that president… Read more »


MSM is just Programming everyone for the inevitable… We all wait for the American or British False Flag so Kissinger and Brzezinski can fulfill their Nuclear Dream… Keep thinking Vlad is the Bad Guy… He at least warns the Western Population what their own leaders are doing…. …. Peace and spirit bless all…