Archived files show Soviet Union used civil airliners to conduct secret Cold War spying missions over Britain Aircraft would veer off their approved flight paths to carry out missionsDefence Secretary said RAF was monitoring monthly flights through UK | UPDATED: 09:13 GMT, 28 December 2012 Defence Secretary John Nott in 1982, who informed prime minister Margaret Thatcher in December 1981 that the RAF was monitoring the hundreds of monthly flights through UK airspace by Warsaw Pact airliners The Soviet Union used civil airliners to conduct secret Cold War spying missions over Britain, according to newly published Government files. Some aircraft would switch off their transponders, alerting air traffic controllers to their position before veering off their approved flight paths to carry out aerial intelligence-gathering missions over sensitive targets, papers released by the National Archives under the 30-year rule show.
Britain's new Navy carriers will sail without crucial radar technology for five years | UPDATED: 02:13 GMT, 2 December 2012 Britain's new aircraft carriers will put to sea without a crucial safety feature. Ministry of Defence sources revealed yesterday that radar technology which warns commanders of incoming enemy warplanes and missiles may not be ready until five years after the first of the 7 billion warships enters service in 2017. The Royal Navy’s ageing Sea King helicopters, which currently provide the fleet’s Airborne Early Warning (AEW) system, will be retired in 2016