Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Pentagon: Russian Jet Flies Too Close to U.S. Aircraft

A U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries II assigned to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1 flies over the Persian Gulf in April 2016 A U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries II assigned to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1 flies over the Persian Gulf in April 2016
Melinda Barton | 08 November, 2018, 16:00

A USA military aircraft was put at risk during flight operations over the Black Sea when a Russian fighter jet made two unsafe passes, Navy officials said in a statement, Stars and Stripes reported on Monday.

The Navy released a short video clip Monday of the Russian jet's afterburner flaring alongside the US aircraft. "This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the Su-27 conducting a high speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft, putting at risk the pilots and crew", the statement said. United States officials say the aircraft was flying with its navigation transponder announcing its position, but neither the Russian pilot nor ground control operatives attempted to make contact.

The Russian jet approached and identified the aircraft as a U.S. Russian officials at the time said it was a legal maneuver to escort the Navy plane. The Ministry of Defense of this nation called on several occasions the Pentagon to abstain from this practice, to which the North American side responded with a refusal to suspend such flights.

The last time a Russian military aircraft performed an unsafe intercept over the Black Sea was in January, when another SU-27 jet came within two meters of a U.S. Navy surveillance plane.

"While the Russian military is within its right to exercise within worldwide airspace, this interaction was irresponsible", the U.S. Navy said. The US crew reported turbulence following that initial interaction in which the direct pass occurred.

Also, the office I assure you, after the spy plane, the USA changed the course of the flight, the distance from the boundaries of the airspace of the Russian Federation, the Russian su-27 fighter jet returned to the airfield.

In a press briefing following the incident, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said that there was "just absolutely no reason for this type of behavior".