Jan 29, 2016
Pentagon: Russian Fighter Conducted ‘Unsafe’ Intercept of U.S. Recon Plane Over Black Sea
The statement indicated the U.S. is “looking into this particular incident.”
The fighter came close and its thrust “disturbed the controllability” of the U.S. surveillance aircraft.
The intercept of the RC-135U – designed to record radar emissions from potential adversaries to develop countermeasures — is the latest of a string of incidents between NATO and Russian forces since Russia seized control of the Crimean region of Ukraine in 2014.
The incident is the latest in a string of intercepts since over the last two years that the Pentagon has deemed unsafe.
The Pentagon has labeled several intercepts of variants of the RC-135 surveillance planes over the Baltic, Black Sea and the Pacific Ocean at the edge of Russian controlled airspace as “unprofessional” and “provocative.”
In 2014 a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 Fencer made repeated passes over USSDonald Cook (DDG-75), a ballistic missile destroyer, while it was conducting operations in the Black Sea.
Later that year, the Canadian frigate HMCS Toronto was buzzed by Fencers operating in the Black Sea.
Russian officials have complained of the uptick in U.S. surveillance flights since 2014.
“US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft carry out flights almost daily,” Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev, commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force, said in late 2014.
“In 2014, more than 140 RC-135 flights have taken place compared to 22 flights in 2013.”