U.S. protests 'aggressive' Russian fighter jet interception

By Andrew V. Pestano

MOSCOW, April 12 (UPI) -- The United States will officially protest against Russia after a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft was intercepted by a Russian fighter jet over international airspace.

The U.S. RC-135U plane was intercepted north of Poland in an "unsafe" and "unprofessional" manner by a Russian SU-27 fighter jet.


The crew of the U.S. aircraft believed the Russian pilot was "unsafe and unprofessional due to the aggressive maneuvers it performed in close proximity to their aircraft and its high rate of speed," Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright said.

Several Russian media outlets reported the U.S. plane was flying closely to the Russian border with its transponder turned off -- a claim denied by Navy Captain Greg Hicks of U.S. European Command. The transponder allows aircraft to be identified.

Russian Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said "there were no emergency situations" during the interception of the U.S. reconnaissance plane.

U.S. European Command announced the interception, which happened Tuesday, and the intent to complain formally on Twitter.

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