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Russian, U.S. military planes come within 5 feet over Baltic Sea

By Ed Adamczyk
Russian, U.S. military planes come within 5 feet over Baltic Sea
A Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter plane, pictured here, came within five feet of a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea on Monday, U.S. officials said. The U.S. Air Force called the incident an unsafe intercept. File Photo by Sergei Chirikov/EPA

June 20 (UPI) -- A Russian fighter plane came within 5 feet of a U.S. military plane while flying over the Baltic Sea, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

The Sukhoi Su-27 fighter plane came near the wing tip of the larger American RC-135 reconnaissance plane before flying under it and reappearing near the other wing tip.

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The Russian plane was equipped with air-to-air missiles. It flew "rapidly" and "erratically," and was "provocative" in its flight, an official told Fox News.

The U.S. Air Force said it regards the incident as an "unsafe intercept," CBS News reported.

It occurred over the Baltic Sea, 25 miles northwest of Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave between Lithuania and Poland. Each is a NATO member.

In May, a Russian plane flew within 20 feet of a U.S. military plane over the Black Sea, but the U.S. Navy described it as a safe encounter. Tuesday's incident came the day after a U.S. plane shot down a Syrian jet after the Syrian aircraft dropped bombs near U.S.-backed troops near Raqqa, Syria.

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