• France watches skies for Russian wargames, domestic drone threat

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    France watches skies for Russian wargames, domestic drone threat

    LYON-MONT VERDUN AIRBASE, France (Reuters) – From close-up encounters with Russian warplanes to the threat of attacks from lightweight drones, France’s air force is on alert on two fronts as it confronts a return to Cold War shadow-boxing and heightened domestic security concerns.

    In the latest alert involving European airspace, the French air force said on Thursday two Mirage combat jets and one Rafale had escorted the two bombers down the French coast before handing over to Spanish military planes.

    Britain said it had also scrambled Typhoon jets to monitor two Russian Blackjack bombers which flew near British airspace.

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    Despite daily cat and mouse games between Western and Russian warplanes over the Baltic Sea, and regular reports of attempts by Russian jets to test reaction times of UK defenses, such contacts remain less frequent around France airspace.

    A French official said the incident was the fourth time Russian fighters had been intercepted on the French coast over the past two years, a period of tension between Russia and western Europe related to the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

    At a command center deep under Mount …read more  

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