A Russian Su-27 jet fighter came within 20 feet (6m) of a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea on Monday in Moscow’s latest military provocation involving dangerous aerial encounters, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
“On Jan. 25 an RC-135 aircraft flying a routine route in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 in an unsafe and unprofessional manner,” Navy Capt. Daniel Hernandez, chief spokesman for the U.S. European Command, told the news site. “We are looking into the issue.”
The site also cited a second defense official saying the Combat Sent was flying 30 miles off the coast and no where near Russian territory when the intercept occurred.
According to defense officials, the Su-27 flew alongside the RC-135 and then performed what they said was an aggressive banking turn away from the intelligence jet. The thrust from the Su-27 ‘disturbed the controllability’ of the RC-135, said one official familiar with details of the incident.
The Russian jet fighter’s maneuver was rather dangerous and unprofessional, US Army Public Affairs Officer Michelle Baldanza told Fox News. The Russian side has not commented on the situation yet.
The intercept of the RC-135U – designed to record radar emissions from potential adversaries to develop countermeasures — is the latest of a string of incidents between NATO and Russian forces since Russia seized control of the Crimean region of Ukraine in 2014.
Belsat.eu, via The Washington Free Beacon