On August 28th, two Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Air Force B-52H strategic bomber over the Black Sea.
According to the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Public Affairs the strategic bomber was conducting routine operations in the black sea over international waters.
The Russian fighter jets “an unsafe and unprofessional manner while crossing within 100 feet of the nose of the B-52 multiple times at co-altitude and while in afterburner causing turbulence and restricting the B-52’s ability to maneuver.”
“Actions like these increase the potential for midair collisions, are unnecessary, and inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander. “While the Russian aircraft were operating in international airspace, they jeopardized the safety of flight of the aircraft involved. We expect them to operate within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent accidents,” he added.
The US Strategic bombers carried out a flight above all 30 NATO nations to prove US commitment to security.
— U.S. European Command (@US_EUCOM) August 28, 2020
The 🇺🇸 U.S. remains committed to our @NATO allies & partners & will decisively respond to threats in spite of the current COVID-19 crisis. Today’s B-52 #bombers flight over all NATO nations prove U.S. commitment. pic.twitter.com/oulsUGjZQS
— US Embassy Bucharest (@AmbasadaSUA) August 28, 2020
Today we participated with 🇧🇪 #F16 in the exercise Operation Allied Sky. This is a Bomber Task Force Mission exercise carried out by 🇺🇸#B52 aircraft together with @NATO allies and organised by @US_Stratcom & @US_EUCOM. pic.twitter.com/cZA414VXSZ
— Belgian Air Force🇧🇪 (@BeAirForce) August 28, 2020
It is possible that the Russian fighter jet pilots simply wanted to fly alongside a B-52H strategic bomber, similarly to how Belgian, Polish, Czech and other pilots did on August 28th as part of the “parade.”
“To identify the air target and prevent violation of the state border of the Russian Federation, two Su-27 fighters from the air defense forces of the Southern Military District were taken into the air,” RIA Novosti quoted the Russian National Defense Control Center.
The fighter crews approached the US Air Force B-52H at a safe distance, according to the Russian side.
When the foreign military aircraft turned away from the Russian state border, the Su-27s returned to their home airfield.
“The entire flight of the Russian Su-27 fighters took place strictly in accordance with international rules for the use of airspace,” the department said.
Earlier on the same day, a Su-27 fighter jet intercepted reconnaissance aircraft from the United States, Sweden and Denmark over the Baltic Sea.
The aerial targets were identified as the US Air Force RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft, the Swedish Air Force’s Gulf Stream reconnaissance aircraft and the Danish Air Force’s Challenger reconnaissance aircraft. They also did not violate the state borders of Russia and turned around. After that, the Russian fighter returned to the airfield.
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