May 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy accused the Russian military of unsafe flying during an interception of a Navy plane over the Mediterranean Sea for the third time in two months.
A P-8A flying in the Eastern Mediterranean over international waters was intercepted by two Russian Su-35 aircraft twice in 65 minutes on Tuesday, the Navy said in a statement.
"The intercept was determined to be unsafe and unprofessional due to the Russian pilots taking close station on each wing of the P-8A simultaneously, restricting the P-8A's ability to safely maneuver," Navy officials said.
The actions of the Russian pilots were called "unnecessary"and "inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules."
The P8-A Poseidon is a maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft carrying anti-ship missiles and other weapons. It is based on the Boeing 737-800ERX passenger plane.
The United States accused Russian pilots of similar unsafe maneuvers in two incidents in April.
The crew of a P-8A was put in jeopardy while a Russian plane performed a high-speed intercept maneuver on April 15 as the U.S. plane flew over the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea, officials said at the time.
Five days later U.S. officials said that Russian fighter aircraft approached another P-8A in an "unsafe and unprofessional manner."