A Russian Su-30 fighter jet made an “unsafe” intercept of a US P-8A Poseidon aircraft on November 25 while it was flying over the Black Sea, CNN reported.
“The US aircraft was operating in international airspace and did nothing to provoke this Russian behavior,” Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon said.
The Russian jet’s actions were deemed unsafe because the aircraft crossed in front of the US plane from right to left while engaging its afterburners. The Russian fighter jet came as close as 50 feet from the US aircraft.
Moscow has not commented on the event. Russian aviation forces regularly intercept and see the NATO jets off, with Ministry of Defense publishing reports about the foreign aircraft located near Russia’s borders.
Previously a US spy plane was intercepted by a Russian jet in June of 2017, when a Russian Su-27 fighter jet flew within five feet of a US Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over the Baltic Sea. Before that, a US B-52 Bomber was enclosing on the Russian border, and was escorted away by a Su-27 fighter jet the same month. Also in June, a NATO F-16 fighter jet approached a plane carrying Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as it flew over the Baltic Sea, but was seen off by a Russian Su-27 military jet
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon is a US patrol jet. It conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and shipping interdiction.