A Russian Su-30 fighter jet made an “unsafe” intercept of a US P-8A Poseidon aircraft Saturday while it was flying over the Black Sea, the Pentagon told CNN Monday.
“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, told CNN.
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, forcing the P-8 to enter its jet wash, an action that caused the US plane to experience “a 15-degree roll and violent turbulence,” according to Baldanza.
It has been several months since the last reported unsafe interaction between US and Russian aircraft. The most recent reported incident occurred in June, when a Russian Su-27 fighter flew within five feet of a US Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over the Baltic Sea.
Prior to that incident there had been several similar encounters in the Black Sea, an area where Russia, the US and NATO operate in close proximity, particularly since Russia boosted its military presence in the region following its annexation of Crimea in 2014.
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