by Philip E West
Edition size: 500
Image size: 24" x 15 ¾"
Overall size: 28" x 19 ¾"
Passing between the Shetlands and the Faroe Islands a soviet Tupolev Tu-142 long-range surveillance aircraft is intercepted by two FG1 Phantoms out of Leuchars, Scotland. Loaded with a full missile fit and long-range tanks, the Phantoms escort the Bear away from the UK air defence regions, which cover around 4 million square miles. All incoming aircraft that have not filed a flight plan must be investigated. QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) aircrew are ready day or night, in all weather conditions, and always find their target. This scene would have been a regular sight for QRA Phantom aircrew investigating Soviet aircraft.
Philip writes; "The Phantom is one of my all-time favourite aircraft. It's impossible not to be impressed with the Phantoms 'I mean business' appearance. It's a big aircraft, with a performance and weaponry to match. The aircraft in my painting served with distinction throughout 1969 - 1989, helping to keep our country safe, and it gives me enormous pleasure to record a piece of history that so many of us at the time took for granted."