Russian Federation to United States pilots: 'Stay away if you can't handle intercepts'

Feb 02, 2018, 21:08
Russian Federation to United States pilots: 'Stay away if you can't handle intercepts'

"Should American pilots, knowing this fact, fall into depression or succumb to any phobias, we advise the USA side to exclude these flight routes near Russia's borders in the future, or return to the negotiating table and agree on their rules", said the defense ministry, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

The Russian Su-27 jet is said to have flown at a distance of 1.5m away from the EP-3 spy plane and crossed directly in front of the flight path of the American jet in global airspace.

In November, a Russian Su-30 fighter flew as close as 50 feet before turning on its afterburners while intercepting a US Navy P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine warfare aircraft over the same area, and in December, two US Air Force F-22s were intercepted by Russian Su-25 and Su-35 jets.

The actions of the Russian Federation jet, which came within 5ft of the spy plane, was reprimanded by the US Navy, calling the incident unsafe and unprovoked.

Russia's RIA news agency quotes the Defense Ministry as saying: "After the surveillance plane of the U.S. Navy had changed its course to move away from the border, the Su-27 returned to its base". That said and given the risks involved, the question remains did is Russian Federation violating worldwide laws?

The five clips, lasting 6-11 seconds each, apparently show the US Navy aircraft and the Russian warplane shadowing it. It is worth noting that Russian, US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces run their affairs in close proximity to the Black Sea airspace despite the US Navy upping its presence in the same region.

The State Department says the incident occurred Monday when a Russian Su-27 jet crossed directly in front of the flight path of the American jet in worldwide airspace.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday that the incident earlier in the week was "absolutely legal and perfectly safe for the American surveillance plane".

Nauert says Russia's military "flagrantly" violated global law and risked a midair collision.

"When commanders sent foreign pilots for reconnaissance missions to this part of the Black Sea, they should take into account that they will meet with the Russian fighter jets, not Ukrainian partners". The smallest lapse of focus or error in airmanship by the intercepting aircrew can have disastrous consequences. "The duration of the intercept lasted two hours and 40 minutes". "There is no margin for error and insufficient time or space for our aircrews to take corrective action".

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