A Russian SU-27 jet performed an unsafe interception of a US Navy EP-3 aircraft over the Black Sea on November 5.
The US Navy said the conduct of the SU-27 was dangerous as it performed a high speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft.
The intercepting SU-27 made an additional pass, closing with the EP-3 and applying its afterburner while conducting a banking turn away. The crew of the EP-3 reported turbulence following the first interaction, and vibrations from the second.
According to the navy, the duration of the intercept was approximately 25 minutes.
“While the Russian military is within its right to exercise within international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible,” the US Navy said. “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 navy further said the EP-3 was operating in accordance with international law and did not provoke this Russian activity.