Russian Su-30 fighter jet buzzes US Navy reconnaissance plane over Black Sea

28 November 2017

A Russian Su-30 fighter jet buzzed a Navy reconnaissance plane flying in the Black Sea during a routine patrol in international airspace on Saturday, an official told Fox News.

According to the official, the Russian jet crossed 50 feet in front of the Navy P-8 in full afterburner causing ''violent turbulence.'' The provocation stretched over 24 minutes.

The incident appears to be the first known incident of the kind since June, when an armed Russian fighter jet buzzed a US Air Force reconnaissance aircraft over the Baltic Sea.

The Russian Su-27 jet equipped with air-to-air missiles under its wings approached the US Air Force RC-135 recon jet "rapidly," within 50 feet of the US aircraft, officials said.

Another officer said the Russian jet was ''provocative'' in its flight manoeuvres and flying ''erratically''.

Earlier this month, US fighter jets intercepted Russian nuclear bombers as they approached the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan off the coast of North Korea.

US Navy F/A-18 jets were dispatched to escort two Russian TU-95 bombers away from the ship currently stationed near North Korea and operating in the Sea of Japan, according to Navy officials.

According to Navy officials, the Russian bombers, which have the ability to execute a nuclear strike, were intercepted 80 miles away from the ship, said Navy officials.

''The US aircraft was operating in international airspace and did nothing to provoke this Russian behaviour,'' Lt colonel 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 even as it engaged its afterburners, which forced the P-8 to enter its jet wash, an action that caused the US plane to experience ''a 15-degree roll and violent turbulence,'' she said.

She added that the Russian fighter jet came as close as 50 feet from the US aircraft.

She said the P-8 had its transponder on during the incident.

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