Royal Air Force jets were scrambled to intercept nuclear-capable Russian bombers over the North Atlantic.

The aircraft were scrambled after two Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers were spotted approaching UK airspace near the Shetland islands on Thursday morning.

The bombers flew from the northeast and passed along the west of Ireland and France before turning around before reaching the Spanish coast.

A Russian TU 160 Blackjack aircraft like one of two that were spotted approaching UK and European airspace. Photo / 123RF
A Russian TU 160 Blackjack aircraft like one of two that were spotted approaching UK and European airspace. Photo / 123RF