Russian fighter jet flew within 10 feet of U.S. plane, officials say

By Doug G Ware

WASHINGTON, June 12 (UPI) -- A Russian fighter jet came within 10 feet of a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance plane over the Black Sea last month, defense officials said.

Military authorities on Wednesday acknowledged the incident, which occurred May 30, in international airspace. Officials said the Russian Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker flew alongside the Air Force RC-135 at the same elevation, broke away, and then shadowed the reconnaissance plane before finally leaving the area.


A senior defense official called the incident an "unsafe intercept" by the Russian pilot, ABC News reported Thursday.

The May 30 incident follows multiple other shows of aggression by Russia toward the U.S. military in recent months.

In April, a similar incident happened when a different Russian fighter came close to another Air Force RC-135 over the Baltic Sea.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon released video of a Russian plane making a low-level flyby past a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Black Sea -- on the same date, May 30. Officials believe a Sukhoi Su-24 was involved in that incident.

It wasn't immediately known whether the United States would file a diplomatic complaint for the latest incident. A complaint was filed for the Baltic Sea intercept, but Moscow denied any wrongdoing.


Russia's military maneuvers occurred amid continuing tensions between the United States and Russia over Moscow's actions in Ukraine, where the Kremlin annexed Crimea last year.

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