A Russian Su-27 fighter aircraft has intercepted a United States signals reconnaissance aircraft EP-3 Aries in the Black Sea, US Naval Forces Europe-Africa said. The incident lasted for two hours and 40 minutes.
“On Jan. 29, 2018, a U.S. EP-3 Aries aircraft flying in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27,” US Naval Forces Europe-Africa said in a statement.
“This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the Su-27 closing to within five feet and crossing directly through the EP-3’s flight path, causing the EP-3 to fly through the Su-27’s jet wash,” it added.
US Naval Forces Europe-Africa explained that the Russian military is within its right to operate within international airspace, but they must behave within international standards set to ensure safety and 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 midair collisions,” it added. “The U.S. aircraft was operating in accordance with international law and did not provoke this Russian activity.”