A US Navy reconnaissance aircraft flying in international airspace over the Black Sea was dangerously intercepted by a Russian fighter jet Monday in an unsafe and unprofessional manner, according to three US defense officials and a statement from the Navy.
During the 25-minute of intercept, the Navy said the Russian SU-27 jet passed directly in front of the US EP-3 aircraft at a high speed. The Russian fighter also made a second pass by the U.S. plane, applying its afterburner while conducting a banking maneuver, according to the statement. That caused the crew of the U.S. plane to feel vibrations, the statement said.
Here’s the video, posted by the U.S. Navy on YouTube, taken from a forward-looking infrared camera aboard the EP-3. Note the Su-27’s engines become white-hot as the Russian pilot hits the afterburners.
“While the Russian military is within its right to exercise within international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible,” U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa said in a statement. “We expect them to behave within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA). Unsafe actions increase the risk of miscalculation and potential for midair collisions.”
It added, “Unsafe actions increase the risk of miscalculation and potential for midair collisions.”
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