Russian fighter jets got dangerously close to a Navy aircraft Monday over the Black Sea, the second such incident in as many months.
One Russian Su-27 came within five feet of an EP-3 Aries before crossing through the U.S. aircraft’s flight path, forcing it to fly through the Su-27’s flight wash, according to a statement from U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.
A similar incident occurred in late November, when a P-8A Poseidon was left in another Russian jet’s afterburners, causing the Poseidon to roll 15 degrees and experience “violent turbulence.”
Monday’s incident happened while the Aries was flying in international airspace, and lasted about two hours and 40 minutes, the Navy said.
The Aries, used for intelligence and reconnaissance, did not provoke a Russian response, according to the statement.
“The Russian military is within its right to operate within international airspace, but they must behave with international standards set to ensure safety and prevent incidents,” the Navy statement said. “Unsafe actions increase the risk of miscalculation and midair collisions.”
Two F-22 Raptors intercepted and fired warning flares at two Russian Su-25 jets last month over congested Syrian air space near a deconfliction line.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.