Intercepted Russian bomber was carrying a nuclear missile over the ChannelRAF Typhoon fighter jets were scrambled on Wednesday after two long-range TU-95 “Bear” bombers were detected flying over the English Channel. The incident was last night described as “yet another in a series of deliberately provocative” measures by President Vladimir Putin which confirmed that Nato’s status had moved firmly from “rival to adversary”.  Sources within the Ministry of Defence last night revealed that one of the two long-range bombers was carrying at least one air-dropped “seek and find”d nuclear warhead-carrtying missile, designed to seek and destroy a Vanguard submarine. Both Prime Minister David Cameron and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon were alerted after cockpit conservations confirming the bomber’s nuclear payload were intercepted by a Norwegian military listening post, and shared with the Ministry of Defence. The missile was not armed, and the aircraft’s crew would have required a direct order from President Putin before making it live. The other bomber was said to have been acting in the role of “mothership”, overseeing the military exercise. One senior RAF source said: “We downloaded conversations from the crew of one plane who used a special word which meant the would-be attack was a training exercise. “They know that we can pick up their transmissions and it would only be of concern if the often used release weapon order was changed. “We also knew from another source that one of the aircraft was carrying a nuclear weapon long before it came anywhere near UK airspace.” On Friday Russia’s ambassador in London, Alexander Yakovenko, was summoned to account for the incident, which some experts suggest was deliberately timed to coincide with the launch of the official inquiry into the murder of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko. The former KGB agent, who fled to Britain to become one of the Kremlin’s most vocal critics, died from radiation poisoning in 2006 after drinking tea laced with polonium. Last week’s security scare was branded an “escalation” of Russian aggression because Russian bombers do not usually fly so far south of Scotland, and happened a month after Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Britain was concerned about the “extremely aggressive probing” of its airspace by Russia. More