Russia defends harassment of American aircraft
Moscow justified the actions of fighter jets that intercepted an American aircraft in an “unsafe” manner by saying that the American aircraft was on course to illegally enter Russian airspace.
A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine warfare aircraft was intercepted by a Russian Air Force Su-30 Flanker fighter jet on Nov. 25.
“On Nov. 25, Russian means of monitoring airspace spotted an air target over an international area of the Black Sea that was approaching the state border at a high speed. A Sukhoi-30 jet of the Southern Military District’s air defense was ordered into the air for interception,” a statement published by the Russian government owned media outlet TASS said.
“The Russian fighter approached the air target and identified it as a U.S. reconnaissance plane P-8A Poseidon.”
The Su-30, flying as close as 50 feet, sped past the P-8A and turned on its afterburners. This maneuver caused the Americans to fly through the Flanker’s jet wash and resulted in the crew experiencing “violent turbulence.”
“The U.S. aircraft was operating in international airspace and did nothing to provoke this Russian behavior,” Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said to CNN. “Unsafe actions? have the potential to cause serious harm and injury to all air crews involved.”
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