STUTTGART, Germany (GDC) — A Russian fighter jet risked a midair collision when it intercepted a Navy aircraft at close range over the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday, U.S. military officials said.
“The interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the Su-35 conducting a high-speed, inverted maneuver, 25 feet directly in front of the mission aircraft, which put our pilots and crew at risk,” the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet said in a statement.
A U.S. P-8A Poseidon aircraft, used for tracking submarines, was flying in international airspace when a Russian SU-35 performed a high-speed, inverted maneuver 25 feet in front of the Navy plane, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa said in a statement.
The encounter with the Russian fighter, which caused turbulence aboard the P-8A, lasted for 42 minutes.
“Unsafe actions increase the risk of miscalculation and potential for midair collisions,” NAVEUR said. “The U.S. aircraft was operating consistent with international law and did not provoke this Russian activity.”
A similar incident occurred in June which saw a Russian fighter jet intercept an American P-8 multiple times.
Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, the commander of Space Command and the US Space Force’s chief of space operations, said the Russian test “provides yet another example that the threats to US and allied space systems are real, serious and growing.”
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