A U.S. surveillance plane experienced “violent turbulence” in an encounter with a Russian fighter jet over the weekend, U.S. European Command (Eucom) said Tuesday, The Hill informs. On Saturday, a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon was flying in international airspace over the Black Sea when it was intercepted by a Russian SU-30, Eucom spokeswoman Meghan Henderson said.
“This interaction was determined to be unsafe. The Russian SU-30 crossed in front of the P-8 (from right to left) in afterburner causing a 15-degree roll and violent turbulence.” Henderson noted.
According to Henderson, the P-8 was forced to fly through the jet wash of the SU-30, which got as close as 50 feet away. Earlier this year, in June a Russian Su-27 fighter jet flew within five feet of a U.S. Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea.
Elsewhere, in October, two U.S. F/A-18 Hornets scrambled to intercept two Russian bombers that were flying toward the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in the Sea of Japan, The Hill adds. U.S. military officials have also repeatedly expressed concern about Russian submarine activity in the Black Sea and Mediterranean. Encounters between Russian and U.S. military aircraft are fairly routine around the Baltic states and the Black Sea, and in most cases, intercepts happen without incident as aircraft follow a set of air safety protocols.