Two Russian Su-35 fighter jets flew “in an unsafe and unprofessional manner” while intercepting a Navy plane Monday, according to a Navy release.
The P-8A Poseidon maritime and patrol reconnaissance aircraft was flying over the eastern Mediterranean Sea in international waters when the 65-minute intercept began, according to U.S. 6th Fleet.
“The intercept was determined to be unsafe and unprofessional due to the Russian pilots taking close station on each wing of the P-8A simultaneously, restricting the P-8A’s ability to safely maneuver,” 6th Fleet said.
Monday’s incident was the third such intercept in the past two months, run-ins where Russian jets failed to demonstrate “good airmanship” and “jeopardized the safety of flight of both aircraft,” according to the Navy.
“In all cases, the U.S. aircraft were operating in international airspace, consistent with international law, with due regard for safety of flight, and did not provoke this Russian activity,” 6th Fleet said.
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.