Close Call: Russian Fighter Jet Intercepts US Navy Plane over Black Sea
Russian Su-27 jet intercepted a US Navy plane over the Black Sea (Photo: US Navy)

Russian and U.S. aggression against each other in the multiple theatres that they are facing off in resulted in a close call over the Black Sea. In what the US Navy is calling a risky manoeuvre, a Russian Sukhoi fighter jet intercepted a US Navy aircraft multiple times over the Black Sea airspace.

The encounter lasted a total of 25 minutes, in which the Russian SU-27 jet passed directly in front of the US EP-3 aircraft at a high speed, the US defence officials said. The US crew reported turbulence in the aircraft following that initial pass.

The Russian SU-27 then came back and made a second pass near the US plane and applied its afterburner while conducting a banking maneuver, which impacts the plane and is believed to have caused a deep vibration that was experienced by the American crew.

"This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-27 conducting a high speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft, which put our pilots and crew at risk. The intercepting SU-27 made an additional pass, closing with the EP-3 and applying its afterburner while conducting a banking turn away. The crew of the EP-3 reported turbulence following the first interaction, and vibrations from the second," according to a statement from the US Navy.

The Navy EP-3 was operating out of Souda Bay, Greece, according to Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon.

The Black Sea air space is a potential minefield as Russia and NATO forces conduct multiple patrols – sea patrols and aerial reconnaissance missions.

A Twitter account for the Russian embassy in the U.S. posted a brief statement about the encounter on Monday saying the fighter jet "followed all necessary safety procedures."

"The Su-27 jet's crew reported identifying the #US EP-3 Aries spy plane and accompanied it, preventing a violation of Russian airspace and followed all necessary safety procedures," the tweet said.

The last reported unsafe intercept of a U.S. Navy aircraft by a Russian jet occurred in January this year when a Russian Su-27 jet flew within five feet of a U.S. Navy EP-3, forcing the Navy plane to fly through its jet wash.