Russian pilots intercepted a US Navy aircraft in an “unsafe and unprofessional manner” on Tuesday for the third time within four days, claimed the US Naval Forces Sixth Fleet.
Two Russian Su-35 aircraft intercepted the US Navy P-8A Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft in the Sixth Fleet over a period of a little over an hour. The two Russian aircraft took close station on each wing of the US P-8A at the same time, restricting the American aircraft’s ability to safely manoeuvre.
“The unnecessary actions of the Russian Su-35 pilots were inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules, and jeopardized the safety of flight of both aircraft,” said the Sixth Fleet in a press release, calling the interaction “irresponsible” and warning that such actions increase the risk of midair collisions.
This incident follows two unsafe interactions in April, over the same waters. In all cases, the U.S. aircraft were operating in international airspace, consistent with international law, with due regard for safety of flight, and did not provoke this Russian activity.
In April, a US Navy P-8A in the Sixth Fleet was intercepted twice by a Russian SU-35 within two hours.
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