Russia Scrambles Su-27 Jet To Escort US Spy Plane Away From Crimea Border
Russian state media is reporting Tuesday a fresh incident between Russian and US aircraft over the Black Sea. The incident began when Russian radars detected an inbound foreign military plane over international waters in the Black Sea, but which approached Russia’s southern border.
The “airborne target” was soon identified as a US Air Force RC-135 plane, a type of aircraft known for conducting reconnaissance missions. The Kremlin scrambled a Su-27 fighter to intercept the US spy plane.
According to TASS, citing the Russian Defense Ministry (MoD), “the Su-27 crew identified the airborne target as a US Air Force RC-135 plane and escorted it over the Black Sea without allowing it to violate the Russian border.”
The statement said further, “After the foreign military plane turned away from the border of the Russian Federation, the Russian jet fighter safely returned to its home airfield.” It’s similar to an incident last July, also involving the large US recon plane.
Skies over the Black Sea have been seemingly quieter this year in terms of these types of tense intercept situations, especially compared to the increase in such during 2020 and the last year of the Trump presidency, when aerial encounters over the Black and Baltic Seas, as well off Alaska were more frequent.
However, there have been more rival military drills in the area. Just last week Russia conducted ‘live fire’ tests of its coastal defense systems on Crimea, firing at mock targets in the Black Sea. At the same time the US conducted joint drills with Ukraine.
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This week the Kremlin warned against any attempt of NATO to expand military infrastructure and bases into Ukraine, spelling out this would be a “red line”. At the same time Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, coming fresh off a summit with President Putin in Sochi, said Russia and agreed to “act” in concert with Belarus should this alarming scenario be observed.
“It’s clear we need to react to this…(We) agreed that we need to take some kind of measures in response,” Lukashenko said according to RIA news agency. Thus as rival militaries continue to hold drills in order to send competing ‘messages’ – it’s likely intercept incidents over the Black Sea will only increase and possibly return to 2020 levels.
Wed, 09/29/2021 – 02:45