Moment Russian fighter jet intercepts US spy plane over the Black Sea as region continues to be a flashpoint
- A Russian Sukhoi Su-30 fighter intercepted the US spy plane over the Black Sea
- The Russians claimed the US aircraft was approaching their territorial airspace
- The Kremlin said there had been no violation of Russian airspace as a result
This is the moment a Russian fighter jet intercepts an American reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea and escorts it away from the Russian border.
Russia’s Sukhoi Su-30 fighter plane took to the air to intercept the US Air Force reconnaissance aircraft after the ground crew of the Southern Military District detected it on their radar systems on July 13.
The Russian National Defence Control Centre (NDCC) said they noticed the air target approaching the country’s border and a fighter jet took off to intercept it.
The Russian fighter jet intercepted a US Navy EP-3E ‘Ares’ aircraft, pictured, above the Black Sea
The Kremlin announced the US aircraft turned away from the border after the interception
Tensions over the Black Sea have increased in recent weeks following a NATO exercise
A NDCC spokesperson said: ‘The crew of the Russian fighter identified the air target as an EP-3E Ares aircraft of the US Air Force and escorted it.’
The Russian authorities added that the fighter jet escorted the US plane away from the border before returning to the home airfield, adding that there was no violation of the border as a result.
The department said on social media: ‘On July 13, 2021, an air target approaching the state border of the Russian Federation was detected over the Black Sea by radar control of the airspace of the duty air defence of the Southern Military District.
‘To classify the air target and prevent violations of the state border of the Russian Federation, a duty air defence forces Su-30 fighter of the Southern Military District was airlifted.
‘The crew of the Russian fighter identified the aerial target as an EP-3E “Ares” electronic warfare aircraft of the US Air Force and took it for escort.
‘After the foreign military aircraft turned away from the state border of the Russian Federation, the Russian fighter returned safely to the home airfield.’
The US aircraft specialises in electronic warfare and signals intelligence
The department added: ‘The flight of the Russian fighter was carried out in strict accordance with the international rules for the use of airspace. The state border of the Russian Federation was not violated.’
The Kremlin has been angered by recent naval drills in the Black Sea conducted by Ukraine and NATO.
The two-week exercise involved dozens of ships.
The Russian military also conducted a series of parallel drills in the Black Sea and southwestern Russia, with warplanes practicing bombing runs and long-range air defense missiles’ deploying to protect the coast.
Last month, Russia said one of its warships in the Black Sea fired warning shots and a warplane dropped bombs in the path of the HMS Defender, a British Royal Navy destroyer, to chase it away from an area near Crimea that Moscow claims as its territorial waters.
Russia denounced Defender’s routing as a provocation and warned that next time it might fire to hit intruding warships.
Britain, which like most other nations didn´t recognize Russia´s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, insisted the Defender wasn´t fired upon on June 23 and said it was sailing in Ukrainian waters when Russia sent its planes into the air and shots were heard during the showdown.
The incident added to the tensions between Russia and the NATO allies. Relations between Russia and the West have sunk to post-Cold War lows over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, its support for a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine, accusations of Russian hacking attacks, election interference and other irritants.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that the incident with Defender wouldn´t have triggered a global conflict even if Russia had sunk the British vessel because the West knows it can´t win such a war. The statement appeared to indicate Putin’s resolve to raise the stakes should a similar incident happen again.
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