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Wed, Nov 29, 2017

Russians Make 'Unsafe' Intercept Of A P-8 Poseidon

Aircraft Was Flying In International Airspace Over The Black Sea

The Pentagon says that a Russian Su-30 fighter made an "unsafe" intercept of a U.S. P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft on Saturday while the American airplane was operating in international airspace over the Black Sea.

CNN reports that Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza said that the P-8 "did nothing to provoke this Russian behavior."

Baldanza said that the Pentagon classified the intercept as "unsafe" because the Russian aircraft came within 50 feet of the larger, slower Poseidon. It crossed from right to left in front of the P-8 while engaging its afterburners, creating turbulence that the Poseidon was unable to avoid. The P-8 rolled as much as 15 degrees as it crossed through the turbulence caused by the Su-30, Baldanza said, and the P-8's transponder was operating at the time of the incident.

The U.S. Navy said that the encounter lasted about 24 minutes.

The last such unsafe incident between U.S. and Russian aircraft happened in June, when a Russian Su-27 fighter flew within five feet of a U.S. Air Force RC-135 operating over the Baltic Sea.

This is the first such incident over the Black Sea, according to the Pentagon.

(Images from file)

FMI: Original report

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