Pentagon: Russian Su-35 fighter dangerously intercepted US surveillance aircraft

Eagle1

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Pentagon: Russian Su-35 fighter dangerously intercepted US surveillance aircraft
06 June 2019
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A Russian Sukhoi Su-35C fighter on 04 June 2019, intercepted a P-8A Poseidon aircraft of the United States of America thrice in less than three hours in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea. While the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa (US 6th Fleet) claimed the P-8A Poseidon was operating in accordance with international law and did not provoke the Su-35C, the Russian Defence Ministry rejected the American claim its jet had unsafely conducted the intercept of the US military jet over the Mediterranean.

"On June 4, 2019, a US P-8A Poseidon aircraft flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-35 three times over the course of 175 minutes. The first and third interaction were deemed safe. The second interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-35 conducting a high speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft, which put our pilots and crew at risk. The crew of the P-8A reported wake turbulence following the second interaction. The duration of the intercept was approximately 28 minutes," said the US 6th Fleet in a statement.

"While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible. We expect them to behave within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA). Unsafe actions‎ increase the risk of miscalculation and potential for midair collisions. The US aircraft was operating consistent with international law and did not provoke this Russian activity," the statement added.

However, the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement that the Su-35C, an ultra-manoeuvrable 4++ generation fighter, was following international rules during its flight. "On June 4, at around 12.30 pm Moscow time (09:30 GMT), Russian systems of control of the airspace of the Hmeymim air base in Syria detected an air target (later identified as P-8A Poseidon) above the neutral waters of the Mediterranean Sea that was moving forward to the basing point of the Russian naval facility in Tartus… After the US aircraft changed its trajectory, the Russian fighter returned to the air base," the Russian Defence Ministry said.
 

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Russia denies unsafe encounter with U.S. military plane
By Clyde Hughes
June 5, 2019

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An F/A-18F Super Hornet takes off from the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the North Atlantic last year. File Photo by Mass Communication Spec. Seaman Joseph A.D. Phillips/U.S. Navy

June 5 (UPI) -- The Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday denied U.S. accusations that one of its jets flew unsafely near an American plane over the Mediterranean Sea.

The Navy 6th Fleet reported that a U.S. P-8A Poseidon aircraft was flying in international airspace Tuesday when it was intercepted three times by a Russian SU-35 over a 175-minute period. While the first and third passes were deemed safe, Navy officials said the second encounter was not.

"The second interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-35 conducting a high-speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft, which put our pilots and crew at risk," the 6th Fleet statement said.

"The crew of the P-8A reported wake turbulence following the second interaction. The duration of the intercept was approximately 28 minutes. While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible. We expect them to behave within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents," the statement continued.

The Russian defense statement said its airspace control system at the Hmeymim Air Base detected aircraft approaching its Tartus naval facility and the SU-35 was sent to the area to identify the aircraft.

"All flights by Russian aircraft were conducted in accordance with international rules for the use of airspace," the Russian defense ministry told reporters. "There were no complaints from the American aviation flight de-confliction center in Syria addressed to the Russian command."

Last month, U.S. military twice intercepted Russian military jets near the Alaska coast. North American Aerospace Defense Command said then that American pilots intercepted Russian TU-95 bombers and SU-35 fighter jets on May 21.

The day before, U.S. aircraft intercepted six Russian military planes over the Alaskan coast.

 

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