USA says Russian fighter conducted unsafe intercept

05 Juin, 2019, 23:04 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • US Navy one of two Russian Tupolev 95 Bear long rang bomber aircraft is seen near the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz south of Japan

The Navy's 6th Fleet said the Russian SU-35 intercepted the U.S. P-8A Poseidon in worldwide airspace over the Mediterranean Sea.

"The Su-35 approached the aircraft at a safe distance and tracked the USA aircraft until the P-8A changed its trajectory and left the airspace controlled by the [Russian] air defense systems", the Russian Defence Ministry said.

"We expect them to behave within worldwide standards set to ensure safety and prevent incidents", it said.

The Sixth Fleet said the first and third intercepts of the P-8A Poseidon were deemed to be safe but the second intercept involved a high-speed pass directly in front of the US aircraft that produced wake turbulence and "put our pilots and crew at risk". The Russian Defense Ministry has repudiated reports by the press service of the U.S. 6th Fleet about the "unsafe intercept" of a United States reconnaissance plane by Russia's Sukhoi Su-35 jet over the Mediterranean.

Officials from the 6th Fleet added the USA plane was not trying to bait or "provoke this Russian activity".

Russia's Defense Ministry has rejected a statement by the U.S. Naval Forces' 6th Fleet regarding the interception of a U.S. aircraft over the Mediterranean, which was deemed unsafe. In that incident, a Russian SU-27 fighter jet sped directly in front of a U.S. Navy plane, and then made a second pass. Passengers on the Navy plane reported turbulence during the first pass and vibrations from the second. After the American aircraft changed its course, the Russian jet returned to the air base.

'At certain stages of the route, Russian aircraft were escorted by #F22 fighter jets of the #USAF. A Su-35 jet was scrambled from Hmeymim Air Base to identify the air target.

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As a result, "NORAD committed an additional two F-22s and E-3 to relieve the initial intercept aircraft".

Last month's encounter came at a time of a tense stand-off between the U.S. and Russian Federation on a number of geopolitical issues.

Last month, US F-22 stealth jets intercepted four Russian bombers and two Russian SU-35 fighter jets in worldwide airspace off the coast of Alaska.

"We are on alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year", the statement continued.

The nuclear-capable long-range bombers flew into the Air Defense Identification Zone on May 20, which stretches around 200 miles of the west coast of Alaska.

The ministry claimed that the flights were "carried out in strict accordance with the International Airspace Management System without violating the borders of other states".

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