A Russian SU-27 Flanker fighter jet came within 10 feet (3 meters) of a U.S. Navy P-8A maritime reconnaissance plane over the Black Sea on September 7, U.S. Navy officials said.
Navy spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said the incident, which lasted 19 minutes and took place in international airspace, was considered unsafe and unprofessional and added that incidents like these had “the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions, and could result in a miscalculation or accident”.
Russian ministry of defense said the intercept was conducted in accordance with international rules and was carried out because the P-8A was approaching the Russian border while its transponders, used for identification, were turned off.
This was not the first time Russian planes buzzed U.S. Navy assets. In April, two Sukhoi fighter jets made several low flight maneuvers coming dangerously close to the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Donald Cook. The approaches were caught on video by the ship’s crew.