News / USA

    US: Russian Fighter Flew Within 15 Feet of US Plane

    A RC-135 U.S. reconnaissance plane is shown in an undated military handout photo.
    A RC-135 U.S. reconnaissance plane is shown in an undated military handout photo.
    VOA News

    U.S. military officials say a Russian fighter jet came within 15 feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane flying in international airspace Monday, calling it an "unsafe" incident.

    A Defense Department spokeswoman, Army Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Baldanza, said Friday that the U.S. Air Force plane was flying a routine route over the Black Sea when it was intercepted by a Russian jet in an "unsafe and unprofessional manner."

    She said the U.S. military was looking into the incident.

    "Aircraft intercepts are not unusual, but are normally routine events. In this case, the intercept was not routine, and the Russian pilot acted in an unprofessional manner that put both the American flight crew and himself at risk," she said.

    Military officials also told U.S. media outlets that the Russian jet flew along the right side of the U.S. reconnaissance plane and then banked hard to the right, which affected the controllability of the U.S. aircraft.

    The officials did not say whether the Russian aircraft was armed at the time.

    The encounter was similar to one that happened in April over the Baltic Sea. The Pentagon said at that time that a Russian fighter jet crossed in front of a U.S. reconnaissance plane and tilted to show off its weapons. Moscow denied that its pilot did anything wrong in that incident.

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    Comment Sorting
    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    January 30, 2016 2:10 PM
    I think US military aircraft should be equipped with some sort of sonic weapon or blinding laser device that would be used to prevent such dangerous close approaches. I also don't understand why the Iranian drone was not shot out of the sky when it approached the aircraft carrier Harry Truman in the Persian Gulf. The rules of engagement should be loosened to better protect American military personnel and American military assets. Turkey shot an SU 24 out of the sky when it was briefly over Turkish territory and the only reaction was to cut off relations. The US must establish itself by actions that it cannot be intimidated, nor the possibility of war so frightening that it will not defend itself in these kinds of encounters.

    How are we doing with flyovers of the fake Chinese islands in the South China Sea? Why aren't there more flights, more ships, more demonstrations that the US unconditionally rejects China's territorial claims? Perhaps the next president will show more spine. I think the founding fathers of America would be shocked at the lack of mettle the US has been exhibiting in recent decades.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    January 29, 2016 10:29 PM
    That's what happens when you fly to close to the Russian sovereign airspace now? .. Maybe because the US said it was acceptable for the Turks to shoot down a Russian warplane that the Turks said (and the Russians deny) violated Turkish airspace for a few seconds? .. The rules of military engagement seem to have changed since a NATO country shot-down a Russian warplane, and because they are now starting a cold war military buildup in eastern Europe? .. What goes around, sometimes comes back around, and bites you in the butt? .. The stakes are getting higher, and the risk is getting greater? .. for a full blown confrontation?
    In Response

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    January 30, 2016 7:23 PM
    What happens when you shoot down a passenger plane loaded with Europeans using a BUK missile from Russian occupied territory in Ukraine? Europe wakes up and reacts even though it costs them money. Suddenly they become aware that Russia is a menace again. It is being made clear to Russia that not only is it being isolated and economically strangled but that NATO will fight WWIII as a global thermonuclear war if necessary if Russia continues to violate the borders of other nations with impunity. Any invasion of a NATO nation will get a military response. Russia had been warned many times by Turkey to stop overflying its air space but ignored the warnings. Force is the only language Russia understands. Short of nuclear weapons, NATO has far more force available to it than Russia does.

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