Photos show close encounter between armed Russian jet, U.S. warplane
Military officials have released images showing a Russian jet that came within five feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea this week.
The Russian aircraft came within five feet of a wing tip of a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance plane, then flew under the U.S. aircraft and came up near the other wing tip, according to a U.S. official.
Martin reported that the U.S. Air Force considered the incident to be an unsafe intercept.
The Russian Defense Ministry claimed Tuesday that the RC-135 plane swerved dangerously near a Russian SU-27 fighter jet, according to the Reuters news agency which cited Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti news agency.
U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the American plane “did nothing to provoke this behavior,” Reuters added.
The RC-135 reconnaissance plane compares in size to a commercial aircraft and is used to collect all electronic transmissions from a particular area. The incident is reported to have happened 25 miles northwest of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.
Last month, a Russian fighter jet flew within 20 feet of an American spy plane over the Black Sea, but the U.S. Navy called it a safe encounter.
The Russian jet intercepted the U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft in international airspace as it flew a course toward Russian territory, according to Russia’s military.
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